Pablo Picasso was undoubtedly one of the greatest artists of the 20th century – and many would argue one of the greatest of all time.
But according to the curator of a new exhibition at the Tate Britain that aims to explore Picasso’s influence on British art, many home grown artists’ work can stand up well to those of the Spanish master.
Speaking to the London Evening Standard, Chris Stephens, curator of the Tate’s Picasso and Modern British Art exhibition, commented: “The surprising thing is that the British artists do hold their own. We can see clearly in this exhibition that they are taking something from Picasso but they’re not just doing Picassos.”
With some of Picasso’s most prominent works on display alongside pieces from British artists such as Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Ben Nicholson, David Hockney,Duncan Grant, Wyndham Lewis and Graham Sutherland, the exhibition is sure to be a major draw for those staying luxury hotel rooms in London when it opens to the general public tomorrow (February 15th).
Many of the paintings are hung in pairs, one by Picasso and one by the British artist, to illustrate the extent of the influence of the former on the latter.
However, Picasso, who lived from 1881-1973, was largely shunned by the British art establishment in his early years.
An exhibition held by the Tate in 1960, which attracted 460,000 visitors, marked a key turnaround in the artist’s popularity in the country.
“He was terribly neglected and Tate didn’t buy a Picasso until 1930 and even then it was a flower, but neither did the French state,” explained Dr Stephens.
“It’s a history of taste and the establishment, the way Picasso started off as the minority interest and became a huge figure.”
The exhibition runs until July 15th, with tickets costing £14.