This exhibition of around 70 major works from across Edward Burra's career focuses on the artist's unparalleled social observation and draughtsmanship.

Previewing the exhibition for the Autumn 2011 issue of Art Quarterly, Simon Martin salutes Burra's passion for the seamy side of life:This exhibition of around 70 major works from across Edward Burra's career focuses on the artist's unparalleled social observation and draughtsmanship. Previewing the exhibition for the Autumn 2011 issue of Art Quarterly, Simon Martin salutes Burra's passion for the seamy side of life:'Like the novelist Christopher Isherwood, Burra was a "camera" " a spectator with an extraordinary memory for detail. He was fascinated by modern urban life: his acute observations of the demi-monde in dockside bars, Toulon Cafes, and Harlem nightclubs are unrivalled ... He was not interested in good taste. If anything he embraced "bad" taste: garish nightclub performers, sailors in search of a pick-up, tarts in a snack bar or ghoulish dancing skeletons. He was unafraid of expressing a "gay" sensibiity at a time when such personal honest and an overtly camp aesthetic were by no means widely acceptable ... A former Director of Tate, Sir John Rothenstein, observed of Burra's legacy as a painter of social scenes: "It is not, of course, to their accuracy that Burra's scenes of low life owe their uniqueness, but to his preternatural comprehension of haunts of corruption."'

Pallant House Gallery

9 North Pallant, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1TJ

01243 774557

Website

Opening times

Tue – Sat, 10am – 5pm
Thu, 10am – 8pm
Sun and Bank Holidays, 11am – 5pm

Closed Mon except Bank Holidays

50% off exhibitions with National Art Pass

Haven't got your pass yet? Learn more


Exhibitions at Pallant House Gallery


Exhibitions nearby

Back to top