Honky-Tonk Girl
© Estate of the Artist c/o Lefevre Fine Art Ltd, London

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Honky-Tonk Girl 1929
This drawing reflects Burra’s delight in the cabarets, bars and nightspots he frequented in Paris and Toulon. Specifically, it relates to the ‘folies’ – the extravagant music-halls of Paris which Burra visited regularly in 1929. The dancers at these ‘folies’ wore cut-away dresses and regularly flaunted naked torsos as they danced with high kicks: much like Burra’s central figure who is framed in the spotlight. Typical of Burra’s style of this time, she displays a mask-like face with a large, lipstick smeared mouth. Burra’s desire to capture the sense of movement shows a debt to Vorticism and his deep admiration for the satirical drawings by George Grosz is also evident. There is a drawing of a seated woman on the verso.

Glossary Open

Vorticism

A radical English art movement of the early 20th century led by Wyndham Lewis. Influenced by the Futurists, they favoured urban, industrial subjects and promoted a hard-edged, angular style.

Vorticism

Details

  • Acc. No. GMA 3947
  • Medium Pen and ink on paper
  • Size 55.50 x 38.00 cm
  • Credit Bequeathed by Gabrielle Keiller 1995