By happy coincidence, three generations of Spanish artists are on show in New Bond Street: – the Spanish impressionist, Joaquin Sorolla (1863-1923), the master of 20th century modern art, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) who was one of the founders of Cubanism, and the contemporary artist Pedro Paricio (born 1982) who has been inspired by Picasso’s work, giving Cubism a contemporary twist.
While the National Gallery has a major exhibition of Sorolla’s work running this spring, Sotheby’s is currently showing several of his paintings, along with those of contemporaries such as Giovanni Boldini and John Singer Sargent. Said to be Spain’s most gifted painter in the period between Goya and Picasso, he has perhaps not had the recognition he deserves, though Sotheby’s have, over the last 20 years, sought to increase awareness of his paintings, of which they have sold over 100.
From Sotheby’s across to the Halcyon Gallery, the windows of which are a blast of colour, one focussed on Picasso, the other on Paricio. Inside, the pairing continues with both artists in their studios gazing at you as you enter.
Paricio’s last exhibition in London had his work alongside, but not connected with, that of Andy Warhol. This time Paricio and Picasso are intertwined as Paricio pays homage to the inspiration of Picasso in his work which he has encapsulated over the last two years with direct links to Picasso’s paintings, but in his own colourful geometric style, most fascinating in the series of paintings derived from figures in Picasso’s masterpiece ‘Guernica’, completed in Paris in 1937 and amazingly providing inspiration for Paricio some 80 years later.
For this exhibition, the gallery spaces have been darkened, with lighting that brings out the lines, the colours and the subtleties of both artists, set against the contrasting large black and white photographs.
It is fascinating to view the work of these three artists and see how their work has developed, but also consider the line that has run through Spanish art over the last 130 or so years.