Ben Nicholson was one of the most influential and radical British artists of
the twentieth century. Celebrated for his ability to synthesize and abstract
from nature its bare essentials and re-form them in compositions of extreme
elegance and clarity. For the most part Ben Nicholson's paintings and reliefs
are geometrically organized, playing formal and austere lines against blocks of
subdued colour, achieving a balance between line and suggested volume.
Nicholson achieves this not only in his paintings, but as one of the greatest
draughtsmen of the twentieth century, in his prints as well. Ben Nicholson's
ability to translate his mastery of line to carved and etched media is second
to none. Always retaining his interest in landscape, whether it be the clear,
bright light of
Born in Buckinghamshire, into an affluent artistic family, Ben Nicholson always knew he would be a painter. Following a short spell at the Slade School of Fine Art in 1910-11 Nicholson travelled extensively throughout Europe and then onto the USA.
In 1924 Ben Nicholson was elected a member of the Seven and Five Society of artists. Other modernist artists followed, including the sculpture Barbara Hepworth, who later in 1938 became his second wife.
By 1949, following heated arguments between the abstract and figurative
artists within the St Ives Society, Hepworth and Nicholson resigned to set up
their own breakaway group called the Penwith Society of Arts. In 1950 Ben
Nicholson was finally selected to represent
By 1956 Ben Nicholson was a truly established international artist, winning the Guggenheim International painting prize for 'August 1956' (Val d'Orcia).
In July 1957 Ben Nicholson married for the third time. By the beginning of
the following year Nicholson had packed up his pencils and paints and left
The 1960's saw Ben Nicholson's work exhibited throughout the world, with
major Retrospectives in
Having declined most awards bestowed upon him, Ben Nicholson finally
accepted the British Order of Merit from Queen Elizabeth in 1968. By 1977
Nicholson had divorced his third wife and moved to