Ben Nicholson

Biography

The British artist, Ben Nicholson (Denham, UK, 1894), is best known for his abstract interpretations of landscape and still-life scenes. Nicholson was born into a family of artists and began his artistic training in 1910 at the Slade School of Fine Art in London.

Synthetic Cubism and Primitive styles influenced Nicholson’s early figurative works. Piet Mondrian, Constantin Brancusi, and Pablo Picasso’s influence on Nicholson should be noted for pushing him towards a more abstract style. As his career progressed and World War II began, Nicholson moved away from the sharp angles and harshness of his earlier works and began producing landscapes and still lifes motivated by a late Cubist style. It was also during this time that Nicholson helped found the St. Ives School for the abstract movement.

Nicholson’s works are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, New York; Tate Gallery in London, England; National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; Tate St Ives in St Ives, Cornwall, England; Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy; and the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, Scotland.