Spencer Gore

A Singer at the Bedford Music Hall


Not on display

Spencer Gore 1878–1914
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 533 × 432 mm
Presented by Mr and Mrs Robert Lewin through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1978

Display caption

The 'New Bedford' Music Hall in Camden Town was a favourite of both Gore and Sickert. This study was based on a drawing Gore made from the audience there. The singer's curiously contorted face looks like a disfigurement, but it may be that she is winking exaggeratedly at the audience while singing one of the bawdy songs with double meanings which were the point of most of these acts. However, the effect is unsettling, as too is the strange lighting of the scene, which bleaches her features. This is unlike any other painting by Gore, both more experimental and more expressive.

Gallery label, September 2004

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