Pablo Picasso is known as the greatest artist of the 20th century. His staggering output of more than 20,000 paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics, sculptures, and photographs, gave him an exposure unprecedented for a living artist. Combine that with the fact that he created cubism (with Georges Braque), invented collage, and painted an art masterpiece (“Guernica"), and it’s easy to see why both his contemporary artists and successors emulated his technique and imagery.
Countless exhibitions have been curated centering around the theme of Picasso’s influence on his contemporaries and successors. Most notably was the New York's Whitney Museum of American Art 2006 exhibition "Picasso and American Art” which took a look at how American artists such as Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, Stuart Davis, Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jasper Johns were all inspired by Picasso.
Providing an interesting twist on the theme however is the Tate Britain’s exhibition from February 15 to July 15, 2012, titled “Picasso and Britain". This exhibition will explore Picasso’s lifelong connections with the country through the perspective of Picasso’s visits, exhibitions, his growing reputation in Britain and British artists’ responses to his work. With a special emphasis placed on Picasso’s impact on twentieth century British artists such as Duncan Grant, Wyndham Lewis, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, and David Hockney, this show looks to be another success for Tate.
For me personally, the idea of explaining Picasso’s influences in a complete context through the use of his own experiences and impressions with a population is simply brilliant. Instead of focusing solely on his influence to an art movement or artist, this comprehensive perspective allows for the visitor to see the cultural side of Picasso’s influences with a broad international community. By keeping fresh perspectives such as that on exhibitions about an artist whose works have been shown hundreds of times before allows us, as art lovers, to appreciate the artist even more and develop a deeper understanding of their lasting impact.
If you would like more information about the exhibition please read “Cheerio, Picasso!: Tate Britain to Spotlight the Modernist's Little-Known London Sojourn” and “Picasso Exhibition Explores Influence On British Modernism.”