February 16, 2012
The Tate Britain calls Pablo Picasso the “20th century’s single most important artistic figure” and who are we to argue. What we can take issue with is why it’s taken so long for an artist of this calibre to be celebrated in an appropriate way on British soil. It’s an even bigger issue when one realises the enormous influence that Picasso had on British artists and the high regard in which he held this country.
From 15th February 2012 to 15th July 2012, the Tate Britain will be hosting an exhibition entitled “Picasso and Modern British Art”. The Tate has managed to organise the showing of more than 60 pieces of Picasso’s work which will be displayed alongside those of the British artists he influenced such as David Hockney, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Duncan Grant, Wyndham Lewis, Ben Nicholson and Francis Bacon. In total more than 150 superb pieces of work will be available.
Picasso 'Weeping Woman' 1937
Pablo Picasso first came to Britain in the early 20th century and his work was first viewed by the British public in 1910 but for the next few decades his exposure to the general public was through small exhibitions by dealers unafraid of how fascist Spain and the Spanish were viewed during this period. There were two bigger exhibitions (Burlington Galleries in 1930 and the Whitechapel Gallery in 1939) which did host bigger exhibitions although the political fallout from these events continued for some time.
Picasso 'Guernica' 1937
Post Second World War, the Victoria and Albert Museum hosted a joint Picasso/Matisse exhibition which was visited by an estimated 160,000 people. By this point Picasso had reached his pinnacle and completed his best work – Guernica is recognised as his peak – but it did serve to popularise the artist and influence a whole new generation of British artists.
So you’ve got six months in which to visit what maybe a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition at the Tate – don’t miss out.
January 5, 2012
Sometimes we deviate away from the world of watercolour and this article is one of those deviations. It’s timely however as David Hockney has recently exhibited at the Royal Academy and is a British artist who has been massively influential in the field of Pop Art in particular.
Hockney was born in Bradford, Yorkshire in 1937 and, after attending the Bradford College of Art, enrolled at the Royal College of Art in London in 1959. It was here that he was taught by the notable American Pop Artist Ronald Brooks Kitaj who almost certainly influenced him along that path. From this point on it was clear Hockney was an artist with no little talent, especially in the field of Pop Art, but his first pieces of work such as We Two Boys Together Clinging (1961) owed more to expressionism than to any other school.
We Two Boys Together Clinging, (1961)
David Hockney’s Pop Art career was kickstarted after he visited the United States in 1963, hooking up with Andy Warhol and presumably the other creative types who associated with Warhol during that period. Not long after this visit he relocated to California where he began to create the series of paintings featuring swimming pools which could be argued define Hockney’s Pop Art work during this period. The lively colours and realistic tone of the paintings marked Hockney out as an innovative Pop Art talent.
Picture of a Hollywood swimming pool (1964)
David Hockney’s career has been one of innovation, new mediums and a desire to understand new technologies and how they integrate with art. He became a talented photographer during the late 1960s and even gave up canvas for photography for a period before returning to painting. He has designed magazine covers and stage sets for ballets and operas.
A Bigger Grand Canyon (1998)
Still working today, Hockney is still innovating, notably using iPhone and iPad applications to create portraits. In 1998 he created what is arguably one of his most memorable works of art, 60 separate paintings which fit together to form one giant painting entitled A Bigger Grand Canyon (1998).
David Hockney has been described as one of the 20th century’s most influential British artists and it’s not hard to understand why.
Categories: English Artists, Non-Watercolour Artists.