The Bennett Prize


Margaret Bowland

Margaret Bowland is a faculty member at the New York Academy of Art where she has taught painting for almost 30 years. She is widely exhibited and published, and her work is instantly recognizable by all who follow the work of contemporary figurative realist painters. Known especially for her paintings of women, the bodies of her figures are often covered with stage makeup, cake icing or other semi-opaque pigments which Bowland uses to describe the layered opacity of the self. Her paintings are explorations of the issues of identity, self-understanding, and maturation that investigate who her sitters are and what layers of themselves they have uncovered or, conversely, are unable to expose. Says Bowland, “Painting on skin is by intent a metaphor to expose basic questions of self-identity, which all people undergo internally as a part of the maturation process. It is also reflective of the last 500 years of global cultures, which sought to cover their women in makeup, powders, paints, even mud.” Bowland has been featured in a number of solo and group shows and in a plethora of art publications, including the New York Daily News, HiFructose, the Huffington Post, Fine Art Connoisseur, Hyperallergic, D Magazine and a variety of others. Her work is in numerous museum and private collections, including The Norton Museum of Art, The Frost Museum, The Greenville Museum of Art and the North Carolina Museum of Art, among others.