I NEVER TELL ANYBODY ANYTHING: The Life and Art of Edward Burra
Daniel Katz Ltd.
‘I Never Tell Anybody Anything’, a new documentary written and presented by Andrew Graham-Dixon, traces the life and art of the intriguing 20th century artist, Edward Burra.
Edward Burra (1905-76) was one of the most elusive British artists of the twentieth century. Long underrated, his reputation has been suddenly rehabilitated during the past decade, with the first major retrospective of his work for 25 years taking place this year and record-breaking prices recently paid for his work at auction.
In this new film, the first serious documentary about Edward Burra made for television, leading art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon tells the remarkable story of his life and argues that he deserves to be regarded as one of the most brilliantly imaginative painters of his time. Crippled by a rare form of arthritis from an early age, Burra placed art at the centre of his life from his teenage years onwards. Although his illness meant that he would predominantly only ever be able to work in the physically undemanding medium of watercolour, he created watercolours like no others: idiosyncratic, unexpectedly monumental images peopled by the men and women who fascinated him (generally whores, lowlifes and bohemians).
The film follows him from his native town of Rye to the jazz clubs of Prohibition New York, to the war-torn landscapes of the Spanish Civil War and back to England during the Blitz. It shows how Burra’s increasingly disturbing and surreal work deepened and matured as he experienced at first hand some of the most tragic events of the twentieth century. Through letters and interviews with those who knew him, it paints an entertaining portrait of a true English eccentric – a master of the camp, throwaway phrase, who preferred to create art rather than talk about it, and who responded to most queries about his work with an “Oh Dearie, I never tell anyone anything...”
'I never Tell Anybody Anything: The Life and Art of Edward Burra' was shown on 24th October, BBC4 at 10pm. An extract was also shown on The Culture Show, BBC2 on Friday 21st October.
The commercial DVD is now available to buy, please click here if you wish to order one.
Click here to watch a clip of the film
Andrew will be participating in an Apollo discussion about Edward Burra taking place on Saturday January 21st, 3pm, at the London Art Fair.
Click here to read a review of the film.
Click here to read about the exhibition at Pallant House on thier website
You can anlso read my Sunday Telegraph Review of the exhibition at Pallant house, click here