FIGURATIVE ART / URBAN REALISM
oil paintings, original prints, drawings, photographs
Summer storm V oil on canvas 170 x 220 cm
The Realist Movement in France in the 19th century proposed that ordinary people and places should be painted with the same love and respect that former generations had lavished upon royalty, great events and mythological scenes. Seurat celebrated the lower middle class at leisure in his heroic 'Baignade' in the National Gallery in London. Degas painted women ironing clothes, combing their hair and washing themselves. Van Gogh celebrated local people, the postman, the doctor. Sickert frequented and painted London's music halls. This was a movement which brought art closer to common experience and seemed set to persist as a dominant form into the 20th century.
The impact of photography:
By the last decade of the 19th century, the camera could manage exposures fast enough to photograph moving subjects. Urban realism was abandoned by "mainstream" artists and became a principal theme in photography, cinema and more recently electronic media. Many artists and movements throughout the century and today, in various countries have sought to reclaim the city as a subject for painters: Die Neue Sachlichkeit in Germany, the Camden Town School in England, Edward Hopper and the Ashcan School in the US. I belong to this tendency and have accumulated a considerable body of work centred on the City, since the early 1980s, first in London and Italy, then in Southern France from 2001 onwards.
Oliver Bevan 2005
Since writing these lines the scope of my painting has enormously expanded. There are landscapes, with or without figures, a love for water in all its forms, and running through everything, a passion for the myriad ways in which light reveals or disguises the world.
A glance at my biographical details will reveal that my early career was dominated by Op and Geometric Art. Abstraction has never completely left me and I sense that the balance is shifting in that direction again.
O.B June 2017
photo © Joe McLean
"Oliver Bevan 2021" at the Jardin Médiéval in Uzès, France until November 1st
For opening times click here
View the slideshow if you cannot get to the exhibition
From August 14th at La Réserve
Everything in the drawers (drawings, monoprints, oils, pastels, gouaches, collages) from 1977 to 2000 is accessible on the site under the heading ‘archives’ on the galleries page.
1, rue Nicolas Froment - 30700 UZES, France
contact: Annick Le Mée tel:
mobile +33 (0)6 75 59 61 80
Oliver Bevan's stock of work dating back to the beginning of his career is stored here. In addition there is enough wall space to mount changing exhibitions based on this backlog, which can be viewed by appointment and on market days in Uzès, (Wednesda morning and all day Saturday). The space is managed by Annick Le Mée who curates the exhibitions.