The Tate looks at 7 artists in depth; Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore, Wyndham Lewis, Francis Bacon, Duncan Grant, Graham Sutherland, and David Hockney.
Duncan Grant’s inclusion is a nod to the Bloomsbury Group’s interest in Picasso, who were the first to show his work to the British public. Here’s a radio interview about Picasso and the Bloomsbury Group.
Francis Bacon’s work is perhaps the most readily compared to Picasso’s. While Henry Moore’s work also deals with distortion and abstraction of the human figure, it is Bacon who matches Picasso in terms of the dark and disturbing emotional impact of these factors. Moore’s work, by contrast, presents a sense of serenity and harmony.
Wyndham Lewis’ cubist paintings show parallels with Picasso’s style, while Graham Sutherland’s work demonstrates, again, distortion and abstraction of the human figure. Ben Nicholson was a great admirer of Picasso and for a while closely imitated his style.
Finally, the juxtaposition of Hockney and Picasso is perhaps the most vibrant and seems to hold the most contemporary relevance. Hockney regularly cites Picasso as one of his greatest influences, yet manages to integrate this well into his work and to retain his own signature style.
Picasso and Modern British Art
15 February – 15 July 2012
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