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By using an oddly shaped piece of wooden board rather than canvas, Nicholson created a work that lies somewhere between sculpture and painting. The effect is heightened by the texture of the surface, which was prepared with a layer of special plaster that the artist cut into while it was still wet. Though now framed, Nicholson preferred to leave the work unprotected. Photographs show that instead of hanging it on a wall like a conventional painting, he kept his 'scratched surrealist guitar' propped on a mantelpiece in his studio.

August 2004