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Description - Ben Nicholson by Chris Stephens

Ben Nicholson (1894-1982) is widely considered to be one of the most important artists to have emerged from Britain in the last hundred years. The son of painters, he did not dedicate himself seriously to art until his mid twenties, when he began painting still-lives and landscapes. In 1921 he first saw Cubist paintings and began producing his own cubist-influenced works. In the late 1920s, on a visit to St Ives in Cornwall, he discovered the untutored paintings of the naive painter Alfred Wallis, a local fisherman, whose simple, graphic style had a profound impact on his thinking about landscape.From the early 1930s he shared a studio with the sculptor Barabara Hepworth, who was to become his second wife. Influenced partly by Hepworth and partly by the modernist artists whose work he was exposed to on his visits to Paris, including Braque, Mondrian and Picasso, he turned wholeheartedly to abstraction while never fully renouncing an interest in landscape that was to stay with him throughout his life. In 1934 he made the first of a series of white reliefs that were hailed as the most uncompromisingly avant-garde works produced by any English artist and brought him to international prominence. In 1939, Nicholson and Hepworth returned to live in St Ives, where he was to remain for the next two decades, becoming the nucleus of the school of artists that was at the vanguard of the modern movement in Britain.Accompanying a major touring exhibition, this fully illustrated survey concentrates on the years Nicholson spent in Britain, before he left to live in Switzerland in 1959. Works discussed date from the 1920s right through to the 1950s, and range from landscape drawings and paintings, Cubist still-lifes and a range of the both abstract and landscape-inspired works he made in St Ives during the second world war. With essays by leading authorities on Nicholson, this book will shed light on aspects of Nicholson's work and inspiration that have previously been overlooked or misunderstood, deepening our appreciation of the achievements of one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781854377401
ISBN-10: 185437740X
Format: Paperback
Pages: 128
Imprint: Tate Publishing
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Publish Date: 1-Jul-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Chris Stephens

Chris Stephens is curator of Modern British Art and Head of Displays at Tate Britain.

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