Tony Bevan. Construct

26 November - 22 December 2009

James Hyman Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition focused on Tony Bevan's constructed interiors.

From Bevan's earliest days, interiors have coexisted with portraits and figures, and his work has increasingly divided into interiors with corridors, rafters and studio furniture amd figures and portraits. The fluidity of Bevan's pictorial language allows the artist to create a fascinating interplay betwen these bodies of work. Heads are constructed, as though by scaffolding, and architecture is given a skeletal or even fleshy presence. 

Tony Bevan's approach to constructing his pictures may be compared to Cubism. As with Picasso and Braque's pionering Cubism, the starting point is perceptual. The motif is based on something tangible in the real world that undergoes an analytic process. But as with the development of Cubism, this gives way to a more synthetic process in which the subject may be imaginatively recreated from an array of superficially random lines. In each case the grip on structure is tight and the result is a new creation that formally gains much of its power from the way in which the subject is abstracted from its origins. 

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 and Francis Bacon 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 which often possess a disturbing, uncomfortable presence.