Tony Bevan

A leading figurative painter, Tony Bevan, trained at Bradford Regional College of Art from 1971 to

Born in Bradford in 1951, Tony went to Bradford Regional College of Art in 1971, and went on to train at Goldsmiths and the Slade School of Fine Art in 1974. One of Britain’s leading figurative painters, his work is bold and expressive often exploring desolation and despair.

Bevan is fascinated by the human form, often heads with elongated necks are stretched into blank canvas .In his early work he painted single figures in a manner that suggested extreme psychological states. His media is usually a combination of charcoal and individually mixed acrylic paints.

“In general I start working from drawings which are charcoal on paper. Sometimes I also draw straight on the canvas which I wet so the charcoal soaks into the fibres. I make my own paint using pigment and medium ... I find the behavioural patterns of charcoal fascinating and the possibilities of paint endless ... Colour has an attachment with emotions and certain meanings. The saturation of the colour in the backgrounds is almost like the colour of the air around the person.”

During the 1980s and 90s Bevan’s portraits developed a psychological style often working on a series of poses over and over again. Bevan’s work is often compared to that of Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud, the portraits often displaying anxiety and despair.

From the mid-1990s he also worked on architectural themes, expressing similar states of desolation, the use of thick charcoal and heavily pigmented paint to capture extreme emotional states. Structural elements of interiors are reproduced in monochrome creating pattern and more recently subject matter has included the ‘still life’ works of studio furniture.

Tony exhibits on a regular basis nationally and internationally. His work is held in collections all over the world including the Tate and the National Portrait Gallery.