Picasso & Modern British Art

  • 4th August − 4th November 2012 | Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art | £10 (£7)

Henry Moore

Henry Moore met Picasso in 1927 when he was invited, along with Andre Breton, Paul Eluard, Alberto Giacometti and Roland Penrose, to a performance by Picasso at work in his studio on Guernica.

In an interview marking Picasso’s death in 1973, Moore acknowledged Picasso’s influence on him since his student days, ‘because one knew about Cubism.’ Adding, ‘He has dominated... even sculpture as well as painting – since Cubism’. As Moore’s work from the 1930s makes clear, a major factor in the artist’s move towards more abstracted work was Picasso’s work of the late 1920s. Moore encountered these works through reproductions in the leading Parisian avant-garde periodicals, Cahiers d’Art, Documents and Minotaure.

When Moore looked back at the influence of Picasso on his work, it was both the idea that Picasso as a ‘sculptor-painter’ and that both artists placed drawing at the centre of their practice that were significant points. It was in Picasso’s drawings and paintings, and only rarely in his sculptures, that Moore found his imagination stimulated and his ideas about sculpture develop. Crucial for both Picasso and Moore was their academic background of drawing from a living model, and both artists continued to develop ideas based on their knowledge of the human form however far they moved from straight representation.

Next: Francis Bacon