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Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art to Present Major Picasso Exhibition

The first exhibition to explore Pablo Picasso’s lifelong connections with Britain will be the highlight of the summer season at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 2012. Picasso and Britain will examine Picasso’s evolving critical reputation here and British artists’ responses to his work. Originating at Tate Britain, this pioneering show marks the first time that the two organisations have collaborated on a major exhibition.

Opening in August 2012 at the height of the Olympic celebrations, Picasso and Britain will comprise over 150 works from major public and private collections around the world, including over 60 paintings by Picasso. Highlights will include masterpieces from all periods of his career such as his great 1925 painting, The Three Dancers, which the Tate acquired from the artist following his 1960 exhibition and major cubist paintings from the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Pablo Picasso instigated many of the most significant developments of twentieth-century art. The exhibition will explore Picasso’s rise as a figure both of controversy and celebrity, tracing the ways in which his work was shown and collected here during his lifetime. This will demonstrate that the British engagement with Picasso and his art was much deeper than previously thought.

The artist’s enormous impact on twentieth-century British modernism will be examined, through seven exemplary figures for whom he proved an important stimulus: Duncan Grant, Wyndham Lewis, Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Graham Sutherland and David Hockney. While many British artists have responded to Picasso’s influence, these artists have been selected to illustrate both the variety and vitality of these responses over a period of more than seventy years. Around a dozen works by each artist will be shown, each carefully chosen to illustrate a specific feature of the dialogue between that artist and Picasso.

Announcing the collaboration, Simon Groom, Director of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Galleries of Scotland said: ‘This will be the most important exhibition of Picasso’s work to be held in Scotland for 65 years, bringing together around 60 of his greatest paintings with masterpieces by some of Britain’s finest twentieth-century artists.

Filling the entire ground floor of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art it will be an extraordinary and revelatory show. We are delighted to be collaborating with Tate on this ambitious project.’

Penelope Curtis, Director, Tate Britain commented: ‘We are delighted that the exhibition will travel to Edinburgh. We hope that it will be one of the highlights of the festival.’

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