Gallery Archive - SPOTLIGHT ON BEN NICHOLSON: Paintings from the Arts Council Collection 28 April 1998 - 29 May 1998
In the 1930’s Ben Nicholson became leader of one of the most radical art movements Britain had ever witnessed. Together with his contemporaries, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, he challenged the pre-eminence of Paris and New York as centres of the avant-garde, and established an international reputation for British art. This National Touring Exhibition from the Hayward Gallery focuses on four paintings from the Arts Council Collection, which represent a range of Ben Nicholson’s achievements.
Influenced in turn by Post-Impressionist and Cubists artists, particularly Cézanne, Picasso and Braque, Ben Nicholson revitalised a flagging British art scene. Born in 1894 into a family of artists (his father was the portrait painter, Sir William Nicholson), Nicholson’s early years had been spent in the company of artists such as Sickert and Whistler.
During the 1930’s he visited the studios of France’s most innovative artists and in 1933 was introduced to the artist Piet Mondrian, whose work became a lasting source of inspiration. By the late 1950’s he had turned from painting with oils, to concentrate on the carved reliefs and drawings which were to occupy him until his death in 1982.
A Nation Touring Exhibition.