Exhibition view: Group exhibition, Modern Mavericks, Dellasposa Gallery, London (5–21 September 2020). Courtesy Dellasposa Gallery.
Dellasposa is pleased to present Modern Mavericks, an exhibition that explores the work of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse and the indelible mark they left upon British modernism through the artists Patrick Heron, Terry Frost, Patrick Caulfield, and William Scott.
Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse stood at the heart of modernism as they crossed the frontier between figurative art and abstraction in their unique quests for new aesthetic expression. The exhibition traces the ways British artists engaged with a much deeper and more varied appreciation of the modern masters than is widely understood, by drawing a comparison with Picasso's metamorphosis of style and Matisse's use of colour and pure line.
Formed between a dialogue of European pictorial tradition and culture of modernity, the British artists were inspired by the avant-garde while reinterpreting the new visual language to express their own progressive forms of abstraction. Among the British artists for whom the work of Picasso and Matisse proved significant stimulus, Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, Patrick Caulfield, and William Scott - all associated with St Ives in Cornwall - emerged as a dynamic force.
While many artists have responded to Matisse and Picasso over the years, the British artists featured in this exhibition have been included to demonstrate the variation of influence shared through subject matter and styles. Patrick Heron, for example, visited Matisse in his studio and wrote about the great artists extensively, and William Scott was spellbound by his first glimpse of a still life composition by Matisse. Both European modernists were mavericks in every sense. Picasso's evolution of subject and style was never absorbed by one influence. While he pioneered many of the most significant movements in the twentieth century, his aesthetic and profound sensibility was so unique and distinctive that it still remains triumphant today. Yet without Picasso - or the equally brilliant Matisse - the story of British modernism that follows would have been quite different.
Modern Mavericks presents a collection of original limited edition prints, works on paper, and paintings. The exhibition is curated with the view that works of art are influenced not only by more extensive cultural and philosophical developments but also by idiosyncratic qualities and disposition of the artist whose unique aesthetic eye informs what they create.
Press release courtesy Dellasposa Gallery.