Edward Burra


A rare opportunity to see the work of this great English artist whose unique vision I deeply love.

He was democratic, compassionate and tinged with vision - and utterly unwilling to discuss his art directly. He used to call this talking about his work 'fart'.

He was a gifted friend whose witty, engaging, gossipy letters are a delight.

He was from an early age crippled by arthritis that made him an observer and his quiet heroism in response to his illness is wholly admirable.

This is one of his paintings from Marseilles from the 1930s - and note the equality of seeing: black and white weaving in and out of a store, a shared life envisioned but one that was in reality so often denied. There is nothing overtly political about it and yet there is a humanistic vision that encompasses every person. It is was a seeing that was informed by a quiet, implicit Christianity that becomes overtly addressed in a number of his paintings: Christ as the man who comes to restore all people to a common level, that embraces all in the forgiveness of sins.

I doubt whether Blake and Burra are a common juxtaposition - utterly different in character - and yet bonded in seeing with a rinsed eye. They see different things with the same compassion.


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