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Group show: Tony Bevan (UK) / WILMA TABACCO (over)

4 May 2004 until 29 May 2004
  Tony Bevan (UK) / WILMA TABACCO
Tony Bevan, 1 Vermillion rafters PC032, 2003, Acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 128 x 86 cm
  Niagara Galleries

Niagara Galleries
245 Punt Road
3121 Richmond, VIC
Australia (city map)

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Tony Bevan

Tony Bevan
's large, bold paintings have an undeniable physicality. Their scale is imposing, sometimes larger than the viewer. There is a sense that the paintings can be entered or are separate environments that could be inhabited. The raw brush marks remain on the canvas as traces of the act of painting. Smudges of charcoal remind the viewer that these are objects made by the artists' hand.

Architecture is a key aspect of Bevan's paintings. The perspectival structures, overlapping lines like metal beams in a roof, appear throughout his work. In the self-portraits and studies of furniture, the lines constitute the body of the forms. The interior of a head is a dense interweaving of strong and heavy brush strokes. These lines create patterns and spaces that capture and entice the viewer. The shapes created in the lines act as passages for the viewer to look in to and look through.

Over a period of thirty years, Tony Bevan has established himself as one of the foremost contemporary British painters. In the tradition of the School of London, Bevan creates strong, expressive paintings that have a similar intensity to the work of Auerbach, Kossoff and Bacon. His work negotiates the middle ground between abstraction and figuration, creating a distinctive style.

Bevan has held over 40 solo exhibitions in Poland, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Israel and America. He has developed a significant reputation, with both critical and commercial success. He has been included in the Aperto section of the Venice Biennale and has held a major solo exhibition at the prestigious Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. It is a rare privilege to have access to these works in Australia, his only previous Australian exhibition being the 1984 Sydney Biennale.

an exhibition of new work by


Wilma Tabacco
's recent paintings are geometric, rational and cool. Strong bands of colour and twisting lines sweep across her canvases. The legacy of 1960s Abstraction can be felt everywhere, and Tabacco builds on these influences to create new meanings and colour configurations in her paintings.

Tabacco's latest body of work has been influenced by the architecture of Hong Kong. In towering facades of glass, concrete and steel, Tabacco has discovered a new supply of giddy stripes. These buildings were extensively photographed by the artist on a recent visit. The paintings which relate to these photos have been filtered through a colourful prism, the abstracted buildings now buzz with beautiful yellow, pink, turquoise and blue.

Tabacco lives and works in Melbourne while engaging global concerns. Her work is included the National Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria and other important collections both in Australia and overseas. She is currently working on her PhD at RMIT University, where she also lectures in fine art.

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