Ben Nicholson: Intuition and Order
Text by Christopher Neve, Ben Wiedel-Kaufmann.
Ben Nicholson (1894–1982) is a pioneer of abstract art in Britain. An equal if younger colleague of Mondrian, he carved reliefs in an austere geometric style, working toward a pure abstraction that culminated in his celebrated White Reliefs. These works placed Nicholson as a leader of the Constructivist movement in London during the 1930s and 1940s. It was during the 1950s that Nicholson achieved real fame; his paintings of this period owe much to older art, particularly the works of the early Italian Renaissance painters such as Giotto and Piero della Francesca. After being commissioned to make a mural for the Festival of Britain in 1951, he had his first retrospective outside Britain at the Detroit Institute of Art in 1952. Retrospectives at the Tate and a first prize at the São Paulo Biennale followed. This volume offers a concise survey of his career.