This painted collage is one of a small number Nicholson produced in London in early 1933. It was inspired by a trip the artist made the previous summer to Dieppe, where he visited Georges Braque. The older artist was a clear influence on Nicholson, who adopts various cubist techniques in this painting, including the use of collage and fragmented decorative elements.
Jan 27 1933, 1933
Original: Oil, graphite, paper doily and printed paper on canvas 89.1 x 68.3 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.