Patrick Burke Retrospective

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Painting of bike on a beach promenade
by Patrick Burke
Photograph © Nick Lukey

Hove Museum

11 May to 3 September 2019

Free admission

Press preview 10 May 2019 @11am – Hove Museum, 19 New Church Road, Hove, BN3 4AB



Patrick Burke (1932-2010) was a Shoreham-born painter and writer who gained success in London, Rome and New York. The works from the height of his career are alive with colour, inspired by the time he spent in Italy.

Burke lived for the latter part of his life in Brunswick Square, Hove were he continued to paint images of Hove seafront and buildings. This display shows the range of his work including early etchings and sketches of Brighton life, paintings, sketchbooks, notebooks and diaries.

Burke started drawing as a child and continued all his life. He went to Varndean Grammar School for boys, now Varndean School.  After a move to Rome in 1957 he moved into pure abstraction and gained recognition in both Rome and New York.

By the sixties, he had moved to a figurative style influenced by Magritte and Mondrian which he later rejected saying: “I copied the style but didn’t understand the first thing about the purpose.”

He found his own style in the 1970’s combining both the abstract and figurative elements and continued working in this style for the next 25 years. The work was colourful and full of playful images as well as references to other artists work. He also taught for many years at the Brighton College of Art which became part of Brighton Polytechnic.

Photograph © Nick Lukey

In 1991 Burke planned to retire to Rome but after three weeks there realised he had made a mistake and moved back to Hove. He lived in a flat in Brunswick Square and regularly painted local scenes including a series of promenade paintings of people on Brighton seafront, packed with bizarre characters dancing on the prom with a ship on the sea in the distance.

In later years, Burke suffered back problems and so was not able to produce as prolifically as when he was young. His work became more muted but he continued to work until his death in 2010 in Brighton & Hove.

Senior Development & Operations Manager for Hove Museum Julia Basnett said:”We’re pleased to be showing the work of Patrick Burke as he was a local artist and many of his works were inspired by the beach, the buildings and the people.

You are also invited to:

Patrick Burke: A Personal Reflection

Saturday 18 May

2.30-3.30pm Free

Andrew Polmear was a close friend of the artist Patrick Burke and a collector of his work. Join Andrew as he discusses the works on display and reflects on his conversations with Patrick.