EDWARD BURRA CBE (1905-1976)
Fish Stall, Glasgow, 1949

Fish Stall, Glasgow, 1949
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EDWARD BURRA CBE (1905-1976)
Fish Stall, Glasgow, 1949

1949 United Kingdom
Signed/InscribedSigned lower right Height19.00 inch
48.26 cm
Width24.00 inch
60.96 cm
Edward Burra (1905-1976) has been described as an observer. He loved to visit new places and soak up the sights of unfamiliar environments and strange characters. Modern urban life was the theme of much of Edward Burra’s and in the years between the two world wars he gained inspiration from travel to London, the U.S., France, Italy and Spain. The vision of modern urban life reflected in his paintings is inclusive and largely positive. It is also multicultural, and encompasses all races, ages, sexualities and types.

Although his family were wealthy, conventional and respectable, Burra himself delighted in alternative lifestyles, unorthodox and bizarre characters, and the more disreputable and Bohemian sides of life. His regular visits to London enabled him to keep in touch with his friends and their lively social circle. He was an inveterate gossip and his many letters to friends are full of bitchy comments and observations. This sense of nosiness and delight in the unusual pervades his paintings such as with Fish Stall, Glasgow. In this painting a scene of everyday life is being played out- local people doing their daily shop; the fish stall with the buxom lady on her soapbox the focus of the oeuvre. Traces of Burra’s interest in unorthodox characters and different ethnicities are present in this work; elements of the exotic that do not quite fit into 1940s Britain: men in turbans and drag queens in the upper right corner and foreign faces looking out at the viewer background left.

Literature

Andrew Causey, Edward Burra: Complete Catalogue, Phaidon, Oxford, 1985, cat no.195, illustrated;
Edward Lucie-Smith, The British Imagination: Twentieth Century Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, 1990, cat no.40, illustrated in colour

Exhibtions


Provenance

Alex Reid and Lefevre, London;
Private Collection, United Kingdom;
Private Collection, United Kingdom

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