Edward Burra
The Snack Bar 1930

Artwork details

Edward Burra 1905–1976
The Snack Bar
Date 1930
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 762 x 559 mm
frame: 907 x 705 x 54 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1980
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1930

Display caption

An odd tension exists between the barman, the customer and the slicing of the ham in
Burra’s painting. The woman eats distractedly, while the man cuts with enjoyment and a
sideways glance at her. Violence and sexual tension seem to be at play. Burra was an acute
observer of the everyday, often exaggerating it into caricature in order to comment on
society. He was familiar with the similarly critical work of German artist Georg Grosz and
the heightened atmosphere of surrealist painting, contributing works to the 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition in London.

September 2016

About this artwork