Tony Bevan is widely acclaimed as one of the leading figurative painters at work today, following in the footsteps of School of London artists such as Frank Auerbach, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud in their reinvention of form. His focus on the vulnerability of the human body and frequent use of his own body in his painting also allies him to artists such as Georg Baselitz, Philip Guston and Arnulf Rainer.
In recent years he has also worked on abstracted architectural subjects such as corridors, rafters and stacked furniture, as well as skeletal trees, which often possess a disturbing, uncomfortable presence.
As Catherine Lampert has written:
"There are several beautiful catalogues of Tony Bevan's work but they contain few of his own words. Studying the self-portraits as an alternative, we witness a kind of resilience and comfort in 'solitary confinement'. Its hallmarks are jet-black tendons, a cute-angled props, briar swirls and pigment-rich colour. The surviving solid thing sits in a featureless open land, a vacuum. I borrowed a scrap of a discarded painting and inspecting it became aware of how his technique and the linear emphasis fuse the image into the rough cotton canvas, leaving the texture of sandpaper around strong ridge-lines. Metaphorically it is as if he were making two-dimensional art with the rugged concentration of someone erecting a canvas tent held by guy-ropes before climbing inside." Catherine Lampert, Tony Bevan : Works From Deptford, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, 2003.