© Frank Bowling. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Tate

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Bowling is a contemporary of Hockney and his early work was influenced by Bacon. This painting is about aspiration and inclusion. The staircase is one at the Royal College of Art and the rest of the scene combines contemporary interior design with fashionable art such as that of the op artist Victor Vasarely. Bowling appears twice, once poised at the top, and again arriving at the bottom of the stairs, a conflicted figure caught between two worlds. Despite early success, Bowling had reason to feel excluded and this work can be seen as an expression of the resulting frustration.


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Oil on canvas


H 310 x W 216.8 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Presented by the artist, Rachel Scott, and their 4 children: Benjamin and Sacha Bowling, Marcia and Iona Scott, 2013

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