Edward Burra, 'The Snack Bar' 1930

Edward Burra
The Snack Bar 1930
Oil on canvas
support: 762 x 559 mm frame: 907 x 705 x 54 mm
Purchased 1980© The estate of Edward Burra, courtesy Lefevre Fine Art, London

Juergen Teller, Elisabeth Robinson, Lisa Jardine and Martin Kemp reflect on a detail of a work in Tate Britain.

Juergen Teller on Sarah Lucas’s The Man Who Sold the World 2004

It was pretty clear which art piece by Sarah Lucas I should choose to write about – the one I’m most familiar with – the wanking. Don’t even know what that piece is called. I was in the fortunate position of being able to climb into that lorry. The more I think about it, the more I like it. Can relate to that heavy truck with its secretive inside more and more. Like the dick indicator in front of Rio Ferdinand’s screaming face, clenched fist. Intriguing, those lovely sagging tits, and quite unusual for a page-three girl; nevertheless, never gave me any inspiration to wank on these silly pictures. I like this heavy, hardcore piece in this English institution – Tate Britain. On first impression, this is a sexually repressed country whose people have an uncomfortable relationship with their own bodies – where, on one hand, they wear clothes to go in the sauna, and on the other, they have this bombardment of naked flesh in newspapers, in a completely non-sensual, unsexy, the-girls-like-meat, HA HA jokey kind of way. Most interesting to me is that this work is done by a woman. Her way of dressing, eating a banana, the heavy boots. Why is she so obsessed with a macho hardcore attitude? Actually I would love to see her wanking! Maybe not directly but more in what would actually make her wank. This is all heavy stuff – that is why the truck is so heavy and greasy. Her work is far more complicated and more complex than a one-line joke.