Denis Bowen was born in Kimberly, South Africa but left for England as a child. He was accepted at the Royal College of Art in 1940 but war service delayed attendance until 1946-50. Teachers included Rodrigo Moynihan, John Minton and Carel Weight. Bowen soon made his name as a leading experimental artist; in 1952 with other members of the ICA he founded the Free Painters’ Group and from 1955-66 he founded and directed the New Vision Centre with Frank Avray Wilson and Halima Nalecz. This became the focal point in London for work of advanced artists from Europe and elsewhere. From 1969-1972 he taught at Victoria University, British Colombia. Bowen showed widely, major late career retrospectives including Belgrave Gallery, London in 2001 and Blyth Gallery, Imperial College in 2002. His work is held by the Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum and British Museum amongst other major institutions.