Ben Nicholson OM 1932 (painting) 1932

Artwork details

Ben Nicholson OM 1894–1982
1932 (painting)
Date 1932
Medium Oil paint, graphite and gesso on hardboard
Dimensions Support: 746 x 1200 mm
frame: 800 x 1255 x 60 mm
Acquisition Presented by Dame Barbara Hepworth 1970

Display caption

In 1932 Nicholson visited Paris and saw work by Joan Miró, Alexander Calder and Hans Arp. He described their effect on him as ‘a new freedom ... a kind of liberation’.

Incised lines dance into and along the surface of this painting. The lines are fluid, playful and largely non-descriptive (although outlines of bodies can perhaps be read into this painting). Nicholson is occupied here with conveying the painting’s status as a physical object. In discarding the need for representation, Nicholson’s aim was ‘to animate a thing, to create new life by marrying idea to a physical object’.

February 2010

About this artwork