Art: Becoming Picasso

I am finally back in London after two long months away, and so happy to be here! Yesterday I decided to head over to Somerset House for the Courtauld Gallery, which is currently showing some early works of Pablo Picasso. As I made my way through the arches into the courtyard I enjoyed glimpsing the pre-London Fashion Week buzz and the colourful video projection of past catwalk shows.

The Blue Room (The Tub) | Picasso 1901

In Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901, the Courthauld is exhibiting works from the artist's debut in Paris. Pieces from a single year of artistic output adorn the walls, filling the intimate space well and demonstrating a clear evolution in style: from the broad and bold brush strokes of a confident self portrait, to more defined textures in Girl With A Dove. The well-curated exhibition reveals a range of influences for Picasso in this one year; the likes of Degas, Van Gogh and Gauguin are evoked in the canvasses. 

It was brilliant to discover new visions from such a well-known artist. I personally only recognised one of the paintings exhibited (the famous Girl with a Dove), and may not have associated some of the others with Picasso at all. The Blue Room, certainly, very closely resembles Degas and seems a far cry from Picasso's later works, particularly the cubist pieces. And the Dwarf Dancer reminds me of Degas again – a parody of his elegant ballerinas perhaps – but is hugely contrasted in texture and colour. It is an enlightening exhibition that demonstrates Picasso's wonderfully diverse style and confidence in using an incredible range of techniques within just one year.

Self Portrait | Picasso 1901
Dwarf Dancer | Picasso 1901
Portrait of Bibi La Purée | Picasso 1901
Seated Harlequin | Picasso 1901 
Harlequin and Companion | Picasso 1901
Girl with a Dove | Picasso 1901

Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901 runs until 26th May 2013 at The Courtauld Gallery, London.
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