Catalogue entry

T00050 PAINTING 1937 1937

Inscr. ‘Ben Nicholson June 1937’ on turnover of canvas.
Canvas, 62 3/4×79 1/4 (159·5×201).
Purchased from the artist (Grant-in-Aid) with the assistance of the Contemporary Art Society 1955.
Exh: (?) Lefevre Gallery, March 1939 (1, 14 or 15); Temple Newsam, September–October 1944 (30); 20th Century Form, Whitechapel Art Gallery, April–May 1953 (39); Venice Biennale, 1954 (British Pavilion, 10); British Council, Amsterdam (repr), Paris, Brussels and Zürich, 1954–5 (15); Tate Gallery, 1955 (25).
Lit: Ronald Alley, Ben Nicholson, 1962, at pl.7, repr. (in colour).
Repr: Read, I, 1948, pl.72 (in colour); John Rothenstein, The Tate Gallery, 1958, p.106 (in colour).

While Ben Nicholson's first abstract paintings date, like his first abstract reliefs, from 1933 these did not become strictly geometrical until 1935, e.g. the ‘painting 1935’ repr. Read, I, 1948, pl.81. The previous year he had used abstract designs both in two dimensions and in relief for the sets of Massine's ballet to Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, see Read, op. cit., pls. 60–2.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II