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Tate exhibition showcases the Picasso effect

A new exhibition is going to be taking place at the Tate Britain and is going to detail what effect Picasso had on the British art scene.

The exhibition is called Picasso and Modern British Art, and features over 60 pieces of art by the artist and many other pieces that have been inspired by his work from such leading British artists as David Hockney and Henry Moore.

The show is also displaying seven works by Francis Bacon which he painted before 1944. There are only nine such works in existence because the artist made an attempt to destroy all of the work he did before this date. Bacon was directly inspired by Picasso during the 1920s and he gave up his job of interior design to become a painter after seeing the artist’s work.

The exhibition is curated by Chris Stephens who commented, “Some of the paintings by Bacon that are on display are just a few of those that escaped his destructive grasp. The reason he wanted to destroy them is because he saw them as being too much like the works of Picasso and despite the artist disowning them they are very sophisticated pieces of art.”

These early paintings show a great relation to the work Bacon created later in his life, with definite elements of the sinister interiors and the crucified figures that he is known for. These paintings are shown alongside some of his later works including the Three Studies. Many people regard this as one of the best paintings of the 20th century. Mr Stevens continued, “To have all of these paintings together in one place is an amazing achievement.”

Picasso grew up in a house that was fascinated by English culture and his father was especially known for this. The exhibition details the relationship the painter had with the United Kingdom and it was not always an easy one.

Winston Churchill once commented that he would like to give the artist a kick in the rear. Another artist once described a Picasso work as, “A piece of paper that seems to have some ink accidentally upset on it and he has tried to wipe it off with a pair of shoes.”

In 1920 a show of his work raised only £90 in sales, although the most expensive piece he had created was priced nearly £800. The fact that none of the paintings sold demonstrates just how much Britain was closed off to contemporary art at the time.

It was not until the 1940s that the international reputation of Picasso was secured in the UK with the very popular, although controversial, show that took place at the V&A. The show that is taking place at the Tate concludes with various pieces of art by Hockney which are seen as a response to works by Picasso.

The show also contains two drawings created by Hockney that depict him with Picasso in imaginary situations. In one of them they are sitting across from each other at a table.


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