Blond Betsey

Frank Bowling (b. 1936) Blond Betsey, 1976 Acrylic on canvas 70 1/4 × 46 1/2 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Ninah & Michael Lynne 2015.22

Blond Betsey, named after Elizabeth Baker, the former longtime editor of Art in America, is part of Frank Bowling’s series of poured paintings. Characterized by a vertical tension and motion in the paint, these works were created during a period in the 1970s when Bowling was experimenting with color and form. Here, Bowling creates an interplay between the negative space on the outer edges of the canvas and the washes of deep citrine and blue that dominate the work.