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Ben Nicholson Abstract Design 1934 Unframed Mini Print

Unframed giclée reproduction print with mount
Size: 11 x 14in (280 x 356 mm)

Ben Nicholson
Abstract Design, c.1934

Printed in the UK exclusively for Kettle’s Yard.

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Credit: Ben Nicholson, Abstract Design ©Angela Verran Taunt. All rights reserved, DACS, 2018


In the early 1930s Ben Nicholson’s interest in printmaking was generally of an informal and experimental nature In the early 1930s Ben Nicholson’s interest in printmaking was generally of an informal and experimental nature, a fact highlighted by his haphazard recordkeeping. abstract design 1934 was his only woodcut, and his first print to be editioned. It shows Nicholson engaging with a new abstract language, which anticipates the tight geometry of the reliefs of the mid-1930s.

Ben Nicholson was the son of the painter William Nicholson. After marrying Winifred Roberts, during the 1920s he travelled widely and lived with her between Cumberland, London, Paris and Switzerland. Following a period experimenting with a post-Cézanne manner, Nicholson developed a consciously 'primitive' landscape style in 1927, further encouraged by his encounter with the art of Alfred Wallis. Between 1931 and 1939 he lived in London in close proximity to many artists and critics such as Moore, Piper, Martin, Ede and Herbert Read. He met Arp, Brancusi, and later Mondrian, Gabo and Jean Hélion. The influence of these artists led him to develop a highly abstract style of the late 1930s, for which he is most famous. In 1931 he met Barbara Hepworth, who would become his second wife. He returned to St. Ives during the war with Hepworth, Gabo and Stokes and established an international reputation in the 1950s and 60s. After the war he lived at various times in London, Cambridge and Switzerland and married a third time to Felicitas Vogler.