"...the single most elusive artist of the 20th century..." (BBC documentary)

Edward John Burra (So. Kensington, London, 29 March 1905 – 22 Oct. 1976, Hastings, E. Sussex); English painter, draughtsman, and printmaker, best known for his depictions of the urban underworld, black culture and the Harlem scene of the 1930s....

At the Sotheby's Evill/Frost sale in June 2011, Burra’s Zoot Suits sold for £2,057,250, breaking a record set for the artist earlier in the evening when The Common Stair, from 1929, sold for £881,250.

First major museum exhibition of Burra's work for more than 25 years was held at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester 22 Oct. 2011-19 Feb. 2012....

On 24 Oct. 2011, the BBC aired a documentary, I Never Tell Anybody Anything: The Life and Art of Edward Burra [link above], in which art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon chronicled the Burra's life. The documentary .... shows how Burra's increasingly disturbing and surreal work deepened and matured as he experienced at first hand some of the most tragic tragic events of the century. Through letters and interviews with those who knew him, it presents a portrait of a highly unusual and gifted British artist. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Burra)

Painter in watercolor (often on a large scale) of sardonic genre and of scenes of violence and destruction; also landscapes and still life, often with macabre overtones.... Studied at Chelsea School of Art and the RCA. First one-man exhibition at the Leicester Galleries 1929; member of Unit One 1933, exhibited with the English Surrealists 1936 and 1938. Traveled in Europe, the USA and Mexico. Made designs for the Camargo Society's ballet Rio Grande 1931 and for several Sadler's Wells and Covent Garden productions. ARA 1963. (http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/edward-burra-837)
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Suzan Hamer


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