In 1932, Nicholson travelled to Europe with the sculptor Barbara Hepworth – his future wife. There he met Picasso and Georges Braque, whose paintings made a huge impression on him. Like Foxy and Frankie (1)
, 1933 (also available as a Tate custom print) the image uses late cubist devises such as the creation of a flattened pictorial space, continual lines and simple intersecting geometric shapes.
Foxy and Frankie (2), 1933
Original: Oil and relief print on paper 15.9 x 14.9 cm © Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS
One of the leading figures in British twentieth century modernism, Ben Nicholson was a pioneer of abstract art and a key figure of the St Ives School. Born in 1894, he married Winifred Nicholson in 1920 and travelled widely throughout Europe. His work was influenced by pivotal movements in European art such as post-impressionism, cubism and constructivism, though he forged his own distinctly personal response to these genres. By the 1930s his work was almost entirely abstract, and in 1933 he created his first abstract reliefs – three dimensional painted compositions, possibly influenced by his second marriage to the sculptor Barbara Hepworth.