Waitress and Elderly Kitchen Hand
description A double portrait set within Lyon's corner house, with a Black uniformed waitress, seen in left profile, busy at the counter in the foreground, and a hesitant, elderly, male, white worker, dressed in an apron, standing behind her with downcast eyes. The busy waitress is a positive, affirmative presence, who dominates the composition; the warm ochre of her skin tones contrasts with the otherwise subdued palette throughout and in particular, with the pale, shadowy, male figure behind her. Neither sitter appears in any other known Lyons works, although the sitter in 'Black Waitress' is depicted in the same pose. This painting differs from the other double portraits of the Lyons Corner House period in that the two figures appear separate from one another instead of exhibiting the graceful harmony of 'West Indian Waitresses' and 'West Indian Porters', and is perhaps closer in spirit to the oil sketch 'Mop Brigade, Lyons'.
date c. 1951-56
location Lyons Corner House
dimensions 76 x 56 cm
medium oil on paper
exhibition history 'Eva Frankfurther 1930-1959: Memorial Exhibition', Boundary Gallery, London, 15 June-18 July 2001, (45), as 'Waitress and Man, Lyons Corner House', £1,200.
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