Edward Burra Harlem 1934

Artwork details

Edward Burra 1905–1976
Date 1934
Medium Ink and gouache on paper
Dimensions Support: 794 x 571 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1939
On loan to Museo Nacional de Arte (Mexico City, Mexico)

Display caption

Edward Burra’s paintings of Harlem fall into two groups – street scenes and scenes of night-time entertainment. This painting, Harlem, depicts the area’s daytime street life. Several men and women are shown in front of a row of brownstone tenements, with New York’s elevated railway visible in the background. The street is shown as a place of social interaction: people linger on their doorsteps to smoke, talk and read newspapers. In contrast to the glamour and exuberance of Harlem nightlife, this painting presents a more downbeat scene of uncertain, possibly illicit, employment.

January 2008

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