- Known as: British Painter
- Born: April 10, 1894, Denham, Buckinghamshire, UK
- Died: February 6, 1982, London
- Cremated: Golders Green cemetery, London
I don't really get Ben Nicholson. I mean, I can find nothing from the heart or soul in his work. Sure, it's clever but it's devoid of all emotion and it's clever in so cold a way that it makes me reach for the overcoat whenever I see it.
Abstraction for abstraction's sake.
I would venture that his work gives art a bad name for the general public. At least in the UK. I wonder how many people have been put off by art for life when their first experience of it is at school and having the boring coldness of Nicholson rammed down their throats by a dumb art schoolteacher who probaly thought that Bob Dylan was Nicholson's bastard son.
Still, the British arts establishment get him so maybe it's just me who considers him to be the most boring artist ever to walk this planet.
Ben Nicholson was the son of the painter Sir William Nicholson. His mother, Mabel Pryde (1871-1918), was also an artist. His sister, Nancy Nicholson, was the first wife of Robert Graves. His brother was the architect Christopher 'Kit' Nicholson.
He was the first winner of the Guggenheim Award. His work owes much to Cubism and to Mondrian and De Stijl.
He was associated with Abstraction-Creation. This was a loose association of abstract artists, many of them refugees from Nazi Germany.They were founded in Paris in 1931 and between 1932 and 1936 published annually Abstraction-Creation.
He was married firstly to the painter Winfred Dacre; then the sculptor Barbara Hepworth between 1933-1951; finally to the photographer
Felicitas Vogler between 1957-81.
He lived in Castagnola, Switzerland between 1958 and 1971.
- Edinburgh (NG of Modern Art)
- Hull (Univ.)
- London (Tate)
- New York (M of MA)
- Stromness, Orkney
- Yale (C B A)