Tony Bevan New Paintings Ben Brown Fine Arts Catalogue SUE HUBBARD

In my writing I am acting as a map maker, an explorer of psychic areas …  A cosmonaut of inner space, and I see no point in exploring areas that have already been thoroughly surveyed. 

William S Burroughs

What does it mean to make a chart or map?  In the conventional sense it is, or course, about topography and concerns the contours of the land, the flow of rivers and the height of mountains.  But it can have an altogether more metaphorical meaning

Excerpt from an essay by

The human head, and specifically his own, has been Tony Bevan’s most obsessive subject during the 90’s, endlessly rephrased and reinvented on a colossal scale that allows the viewer no escape from the confrontation. Of all the images at the disposal of a figurative artist it is the one with the greatest potential of speaking of the human spirit and the full range of emotions

Painting Heads KLAUS OTTMANN
Valencia IVAM 2005

Firstly, then, I perceived that I had a head, hands, feet and other members composing that body which I considered as part of perhaps even as the whole, of myself.  I perceived further, that the body was placed among many others 

Excerpt from an essay by

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.

Tony Bevan : Works From Deptford
Abbot Hall Art Gallery
2003 © Catherine Lampert