15 Feb to 15 July
I'm cheating here - the image is not of the art work itself but of the front of the catalogue I saw at the Press Preview this morning. The exhibition opens on Wednesday and explores Picasso's lifelong connections with Britain. I didn't realise that his father was a great Anglophile and that Picasso himself intended as a young man to work to London - but got waylaid in Paris. (Or so the story goes). The show includes a chance to see the impact he had on British Modernism in the work of seven of our best: Duncan Grant, Wyndham Lewis, Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Graham Sutherland and David Hockney,
I can't write about the show because you have to buy a ticket or be a member. One of my rules is that this blog is about free art. It's soemtimes a bit of a dilemma. 2012 is providing a wealth of blockbusters in London: David Hockney at the Royal Academy, Jeremy Deller at the Hayward, Gillian Wearing at the Whitechapel, Yayoi Kusama and Damien Hirst at Tate Modern and Ai Wei Wei and Yoko Ono at the Serpentine for a start. But you have to pay to see them (except for the wonderful Whitechapel and Serpentine).
Of course they'll get be enormous coverage everywhere now that Great Britain is such a vibrant international art centre. And I'll be content with going to ponder some who are less well known. But one of the handouts this morning was a terrible warning to anyone rash enough to do just that. Here are three reactions to Picasso before he was seen as one of the greatest artists of all time. How wrong can you be!
An artist's view: 'Picasso is certainly not a patch on Poulbert, or Geny, or Metivet, or Falke or Arnac, or Kern, or the amazing Laborde' Walter Sickert, 1924
The genteel sneer: Picasso's paintings now on show at the Tate Gallery...have certainly been attracting the crowds that used to be associated with Chaplin films', The Listener 1960
And the author: 'Senor Picasso's painting cannot be intelligently discussed in the terms used of the civilised masters...he can only be treated as crooners are treated by their devotees'. Evelyn Waugh in a letter to The Times 1945
(this is for the Hayward)