Picasso & Modern British Art @ Tate Britain

Art exhibitions have been like buses for me lately: you wait ages for one and then two come along at once. I was lucky enough to be invited to a couple of evening events at art galleries recently, but I'll start with the one that came first - the Tate Britain's new exhibition looking at the influence of Picasso on modern British art of the 20th century.

The exhibition is split into sections, interspersing periods of when Picasso was working and exhibiting his paintings in Britain with the work of artists such as Wyndham Lewis, Francis Bacon and David Hockney. My particular favourite was the Henry Moore section; I am a huge fan of Moore's sculptures and was gutted to miss out on his retrospective at the Tate Modern a couple of years ago, so even getting to see some of his work was a treat for me. I loved seeing how his sculptures tied in with Picasso's depiction of the body in some of his paintings, even though the styles were very different. It was also a great opportunity to see some of the most famous of Picasso's works, such as Child with a Dove (which is apparently going up for sale so could well get pulled out of the exhibition), Guernica and Weeping Woman, as well as discovering some new artists. I'd never heard of Duncan Grant or Ben Nicholson before this exhibition, but wandering through exposed me to some really fantastic gorgeous paintings.

The undoubted highlight though is Picasso's enormous Three Dancers painting. Situated in a room on its own at the end of the exhibition, with only a single spotlight, you do feel slightly overwhelmed by looking at it. It feels like a beautiful way to marry the whole exhibition together, as an example of all that's great about Picasso whilst reflecting the works of the other artists in the exhibition - things like the body shapes of the figures recalling the Moore sculptures. That said, it was run a close second by discovering a side of Picasso that I hadn't been aware of in terms of, which was his work on designing the costumes and scenery for Diaghilev's ballet 'The Three-Cornered Hat'. I'm not much of an art gallery person, but when I am I'm a sucker for sculpture and beautiful costumes, so this room delivered in absolute spades - the work was absolutely exquisite.

If you'd like to check this out it costs £14 for a ticket - possibly a little bit on the expensive side for me to have gone of my own accord, but I'm very glad I did - and is running at Tate Britain until the 15th of July.

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