ABSTRACTORS OF THE HUMAN FORM
Lithographs by: Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon.
What was it about the middle of the 20th century that inspired two very different artists to employ the concept of the abstract, to the capturing of the human form?
The Graham Hunter Gallery presents a finely printed collection of lithographs by these two titans of 20th Century art, examining their attitude and approach to the representation of the body.
7 color lithographs printed by Mourlot Freres 1954
Pablo Picasso was more than just a painter. He was a polymath, showing great accomplishment in, printmaking, ceramics, stage design, poetry and as a playwright. As one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore.
Picasso demonstrated extraordinary artistic talent in his early years, painting in a realistic manner through his childhood and adolescence. During the first decade of the 20th century, his style changed as he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas. His early work is easy to band by period, such as his Blue Period (1901–1904), the Rose Period (1904–1906), the African-influenced Period (1907–1909), Analytic Cubism (1909–1912), and Synthetic Cubism (1912–1919). Critics still argue about the naming and delineation of his later works.
6 colour lithographs, including 1 full colour triptych lithograph 1966
Francis Bacon took up painting in his early 20s, working infrequently until his mid-30s, admitting later that he had spent a long time looking for a subject that would sustain his interest. He has a reputation as a uniquely bleak chronicler of the human condition.
Often working on images as being "in series", typically he focused on single subjects for sustained periods. In the 1940s, these were male heads, isolated in rooms, the early 1950s brought screaming popes, whilst later that decade, Bacon turned his attention to animals and lone figures suspended in geometric structures.
We present these two collections together showing how diverse a reaction can be to a subject. Both show a contortion of the human form, examining the shape and arrangement of the body, rather than the piece as a whole, building on the freedom of the abstractionist movement of the early 20th century, combining figurative and literal representations. For Bacon, this is the additional inclusion of an emotional reaction to the sitters, absent from the flat backgrounds. Picasso’s contortions seem more to examine the extremes of the body, depicting dancers and circus performers, their twisted, elongated and simplified forms, capturing, and celebrating, the extremes of humanity.
Exhibition is free to the public
Works start at £450 (framed)