Picasso and Modern British Art

Edinburgh Modern Art Gallery. Visited 3rd November 2012.

Pablo Picasso remains the towering figure in modern art. This exhibition examined, for the first time, the specific relationship between Picasso and British art. One strand brought together works by Picasso that were shown and collected in Britain: from the few works shown in Britain before the First World War, through to designs for the ballet, made in London in 1919, to works acquired by british collectors between the wars, and up to his establishment in Britain after the Second World war.

Among the British artists for whom Picasso proved an important stimulus, and whose work was included in the show, were Duncan Grant, Wyndham Lewis, Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore, Roland Penrose, Graham Sutherland, Robert Colquhoun, Robert McBryde, David Hockney and Francis Bacon. Some of these artists knew Picasso personally; most were responding in their own art to his most recent work. Hockney was the one artist who could survey the entirety of Picasso’s achievement.

Although not a photography exhibition I found it interesting nonetheless to see how others artists were effected by such a influential and famous artist. This I am certain can be applied to influential photographers and how they have influenced others in certain genres. I hope that I have the opportunity to investigate other photographers and learn from their style and techniques as I progress through the photography modules.

There was also a small exhibit of photographs either taken by British photographers or showing Picasso in Britain. Many of the photographs were taken by Lee Miller who was married to Roland Penrose (whose artistic work was exhibited here also). In 1937 Penrose and Miller spent some time in Mougins in the South of France with Picasso where numerous photographs of Picasso were taken.

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