The Best Art Exhibitions in London | Frank Auerbach/Tony Bevan: What Is A Head?

Country & Town House, by Dina Nagapetyants

A new exhibition at Ben Brown Fine Arts in Mayfair features portraits by two of Britain’s leading figurative painters: Frank Auerbach and Tony Bevan. A generation apart, both artists share a fascination for the conceptual and painterly possibilities of reinventing heads – though there are notable differences between the two. As art historian Michael Peppiatt observes: “In Auerbach, who grew up during the war, one experiences palpable layers of excavation: the buried image rising through stratas of paint to resume its fragmented presence, a memory disinterred that might fade again into the flurry of brushstrokes as swiftly as Hamlet’s ghost. Bevan’s ‘Heads’ are also reconstructions, of a different order. More linear than painterly in his practice, Bevan approaches the head through its working parts, its muscles and sinews, exploring its inner structure as an unknown space, an experimental architecture that defies all known rules.” 7 December 2020 – 26 February 2021,

December 7, 2020