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Edward Burra [Hardcover]

Simon Martin , Stefan van Raay , Andrew Lambirth , Jane Stevenson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Oct 2011
Edward Burra (1905-76) was an English painter who is best known for his paintings of the seedy underworld of urban life. Yet, as this fascinating new monograph on his work reveals, his interests were much broader, incorporating landscape and still-life paintings, stage designs, book illustration and watercolours. Somewhat neglected by histories of modern art because his singular vision was often at odd with the mainstream art world, his work is now due for a re-appraisal. Published to accompany a major exhibition of his paintings and drawings at Pallant House Gallery, this important book represents the first full-scale monograph on Edward Burra and reproduces 100 key paintings alongside drawings and a range of fascinating contextual material. It positions Burra as a major figure in the history of 20th-century art, placing his work alongside that of the German Expressionists and other important contemporaries and influences. Long awaited, this book will be widely welcomed by all those with an interest in the art of this fascinating maverick and documenter of modern life.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Lund Humphries; First Edition edition (1 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848220901
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848220904
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 22.9 x 26.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'... attractively illustrated and engagingly written.' ----- Cassone

About the Author

Simon Martin is Head of Curatorial Services at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester. His specialist area is Modern British Art and he has curated numerous exhibitions for Pallant House Gallery, writing or editing the accompanying catalogue. Andrew Lambirth is Art Editor of The Spectator and author of numerous monographs and exhibition catalogues. Jane Stevenson is author of Edward Burra: Twentieth-century Eye, the first biography of the artist.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
By Dr. R. Brandon TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a well presented and excellent catalogue that has been published to accompany the exhibition of the work of Edward Burra taking place at the Pallant House Gallery, Chichester. As one might expect the book is profusely illustrated with high quality full colour reproductions from the complete range of Burra's work. The different chapters encompass work from different stages in his career including his well known scenes from urban life, the dark side of his work including macabre images and phantoms, his work about stage and film life and his ballet costume and stage designs and finally the landscapes that Burra painted particularly towards the end of his life. The various chapters, including a biographical introduction, are very well written, they are lucid and straightforward and mercifully free from the "psycho-babble" that infects so many art books. In this respect Simon Martin, Head of Curatorial Studies at Pallant House Gallery and Jane Stevenson, who published a biography of Edward Burra in 2007, have done an excellent job. The book is a nice size and not too heavy, many exhibition catalogues are now too weighty to easily read, and is very nicely produced. The illustrations coincide with the relevant text very well.
This book will be a very welcome publication for those interested in Burra whether or not they are fortunate enough to visit the exhibition for works containing illustrations of his work are hard to find. Frustratingly the 2007 biography was without reproductions of Burra's paintings. This is an excellent and important addition to the library of 20th century art and is recommended without reservation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very introspective person but a great artist 20 Nov 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the catalogue to an exhibition that I attended earlier this year at the Djanogly Art Gallery in Nottingham. Prior to this I was unfamiliar with the artist's work except for reproductions in surveys of 20th century British painting. Burra was a very idiosyncratic artist and Stefan van Raay, Director of Pallant House Gallery who organised the exhibition, suggests that Stanley Spencer is probably the closest British artist. This exhibition and catalogue do an excellent job of describing his life, influences and artistic development in a holistic, integrated manner.

The catalogue has been put together and presented to the very high level that is associated with Pallant House (for example, "Modern British Art at Pallant House Gallery"). There are over 150 illustrations, the majority are coloured (and very faithfully coloured at that) reproductions of his work as well as black and white contemporary photographs illustrating the artist's life and development. There is an illustrated chronology, lists of ballet, opera and theatre productions designed by Burra, details of his solo and group exhibitions, public collections holding his work, a list of books illustrated by the artist, bibliography and an index.

Burra was influenced by Neue Sachlichkeit and Surrealism, and the catalogue contains perceptive essays by Jane Stephenson, Burra's first biographer, on the artist's life and letters, and by Andrew Lambirth on Burra's landscapes, an underrated motif of an underrelated artist. However, the lion's share of the text is written by Simon Martin, Head of Curatorial Services at Pallant House, who addresses Burra's view of modern urban life, his dark side and his stage and screen work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Burra , a major exhibition catalogue 24 April 2013
By berned
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Burra, often a hidden British artist in the Surrealist movement now on full show via his exhibition at Chichester and Notttingham.
Superb illiustrations of the major pieces he produced and many new late landscapes from his last years to see.
A very pleasing experience.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Burra 2011 26 Jun 2012
By Enjaio
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An excellently produced introduction to the life and paintings of Edward Burra for both those who visited the exhibition or were unable to travel to Chichester. Especially good on Burra's later landscape paintings although I have a suspicion that even with this book/exhibition there are still some fine paintings still to be brought to wider viewing. On page 140 there is no perhaps about Burra's painting of ferns, these are definitely not bracken! (Cf. hart's-tongue.) An excellent complementary volume to Jane Stevenson's biography (2007) "Twentieth Century Eye" as this has few illustrations.
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