The dominant impression was always going to be dislocation and suffering but I found elements of affection, tenderness and humour too, something you don’t tend to associate with the artist.
Take for example Two Figures painted at a time when homosexuality was still illegal in Britain. The image itself was sourced from Eadweard Muybridge’s images of wrestlers so he had that get-out clause if questioned.
Then you have the knotted handkerchief on his lover George Dyer’s head. It could, of course be seen as snobbery but I prefer affectionate humour.
And the quality of his painting!
The sheer scale of these paintings is impressive; being in a room surrounded by the bullfighting paintings is to be relished and you can stand on a spot right in the centre.
More to follow next week.