Ben Nicholson: The Vicious Circles of His Life & Art by Sarah Jane Checkland

By Sarah Jane Checkland

The much-lauded biography of Ben Nicholson (1894-1982) – Britain’s top twentieth century modernist and summary painter – is again after renowned call for as an ebook.
This e-book coincides not just with the thirtieth anniversary of Nicholson’s demise, yet with landmark exhibitions in London that includes his paintings, ‘Picasso and sleek British paintings’ at Tate Britain and ‘Mondrian/ Nicholson in Parallel’ on the Courtauld Galleries.
The e-book is stuffed with clean and engaging insights into an artist who loved all over the world acclaim in the course of his lifetime, yet whose importance has as a consequence been overshadowed through his contemporaries Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, Nicholson’s moment spouse. It unearths Nicholson’s distinctive function not just in developing that lasting icon of Thirties British artwork – his white aid – yet in forging a bridge among conservative London and the pioneers of the ecu avant-garde, together with Picasso, Braque, Mondrian and Gabo.
It was once thank you mostly to Nicholson’s encouragement that Mondrian and Gabo got here to stay in Britain ahead of the second global warfare. whereas Mondrian turned Nicholson’s neighbour in Belsize Park, London, Gabo fled with Nicholson and Hepworth to the Cornish city of St Ives, the place Nicholson turned either catalyst and king to the influential avant-garde artwork colony which quickly sprung up round him. through the Fifties and Nineteen Sixties, he supplied idea and aid to a new release of more youthful artists together with Patrick Heron, Peter Lanyon, Terry Frost and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, whereas profitable many overseas paintings prizes.
Nicholson’s tale is peppered with mythical names from the heritage of modernism. except these pointed out above, associates and co-workers featured contain Constantin Brancusi, Arp, Moholy-Nagy, Wyndham Lewis, David Bomberg, David Piper, Graham Sutherland, Alfred Wallis and Christopher wooden.
“Darting the following and there in his sea blue trousers and white undershirt, his bald head bob bobbing approximately rather a lot like a ping-pong ball that he may even jump within the air and play along with his head…” This publication indicates how, faraway from being the austere personality projected through himself and his critics, Nicholson’s was once a quixotic personality, keen about ball-games and observe play. It additionally finds the painful episode within which his father – the recognized painter Sir William Nicholson – stole away Ben’s fiancée, pitting him opposed to the “sophistication” of his relatives heritage, whereas environment the precedent for the succession of triangular relationships which outlined his deepest existence, such a lot particularly along with his first other halves, the painter Winifred Nicholson and Hepworth. the ultimate revelation is the reliance put through Nicholson, and either one of his artist other halves, on Christian Science.
Since graduating in tremendous paintings on the collage of East Anglia, Sarah Jane Checkland has written generally on artwork, as critic, characteristic author and paintings industry correspondent, such a lot particularly for the London occasions. Her site, offers hyperlinks to exhibitions and occasions in terms of Nicholson and his contemporaries, in addition to her web publication.

What the critics acknowledged in regards to the first edition:
‘[An] immensely thorough and relaxing documentation of his life.….a monument to painstaking research…(The Observer)

“a splendidly witty, well-researched, perceptive and
accessible biography, choked with anecdote and research. The creative kaleidoscope of the 20 th century tumbles helter-skelter via it, each stream represented, from Abstraction to Vorticism” Harpers

“… specially solid at the strength performs at which Nicholson used to be a prior master.” Sunday Telegraph

Carefully researched and entertaining
Times Literary Supplement

….a tale …gripping in its awfulness: the facility struggles, the cliques, the jealousies and petty rivalries, his self-serving crankiness and Christian technology. Literary evaluation

eBook variation, with no illustrations, and with footnotes in separate part on the finish.

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