Think Picasso and what springs to mind are cubism and paintings that have sold for millions of pounds. But Picasso’s most enduring legacy is the impact he has had on shaping much of the modern art that followed, including many notable works by British artists.
This exhibition aims to explore these links to see how the likes of Francis Bacon, David Hockney and Henry Moore were influenced by Picasso.
There is a profusion of Picasso on display here, including works from his early Impressionist days, through his blue period and on to his cubist and surrealist paintings. A few masterpieces are present, including ‘Three Dancers’, ‘Nude Woman in a Red Armchair’ and ‘Weeping Woman’.
With the many styles that Picasso experimented with, it would be difficult to find a modern artist who hasn’t been influenced by him, and his works are here used to greatest effect when displayed beside the work that they’ve inspired; the similarity between Picasso’s ‘The Source’ and Henry Moore’s ‘reclining figure’ is uncanny. The comparisons are less effective for those who were influenced by many other artists, such as Nicholson who clearly owes as much to Matisse and Mondrian as he does to Picasso.
Though the influence of Picasso on British art is an interesting journey, the real draw of this exhibition is the works by Picasso himself. They highlight that he experimented with many different styles but was able to inspire at every turn, and though many British artists followed in his wake, none ever managed to surpass the master.
This is your opportunity to appreciate why Picasso is heralded as one of the most influential artists of all time.
Picasso and Modern British Art is on at Tate Britain until 15 July. Tickets are £14 for adults, concessions available.