British, 20th – 21st century, male.
Born 1951, in Bradford.
Painter, engraver, draughtsman. Figures, portraits.
Tony Bevan was educated at Bradford School of Art (1968-1971), Goldsmiths College (1971-1974) and the Slade School of Fine Art (1974-1976).
Bevan has been compared to Francis Bacon, Edvard Munch and Philip Guston. He paints the human form, depicting extreme psychological states of anxiety and alienation, yet concentrating as much on the body as on the face. Using charcoal, he draws straight onto the wet canvas to create densely worked areas which contrast with flat expanses of strong colour in acrylic. Heavy outlines in red or black show the structures of the body beneath the skin, so that the figures seem to be covered in scars. This imparts a rough physicality to the figures, which seem deformed and haggard, recalling the suffering faces of the French writer and actor Antonin Artaud; but in their stylisation the lines also take on a life of their own as abstract forms. The starkness of portrayal can be viewed as aggressive or confrontational, but the figures also appear vulnerable, with a focus on the more fragile parts of the body, such as the neck, wrists or insides of the arms....