Throughout his career, Ben Nicholson (1894–1982) transformed everyday homewares into extraordinary experiments in abstract art. Nicholson’s studio was filled with objects that inspired him. From patterned mocha-ware jugs and cut glass goblets to spanners, hammers and chisels, these ordinary personal possessions were a source of almost endless inspiration to the artist. This book brings together for the first time Nicholson’s paintings, reliefs, prints and drawings alongside his rarely seen personal possessions and studio tools. It traces how the artist’s style developed, from his early traditional tabletop still lifes to his later abstract works. Still life was at the heart of Nicholson’s artistic practice. Through these humble items, he began to experiment with form and color. His early works in particular owed inspiration to his father, the painter William Nicholson. The book traces the artistic and personal influences on Nicholson’s evolutionary still life style from the 1920s to the 1970s. It explores his time with Winifred Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth, as well as his encounters with other Modernist greats, Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondrian.
Distributed for Pallant House Gallery