A Continuous Line: Ben Nicholson in England
Tate St Ives: Exhibition
24 January 4 May 2009
  • Ben Nicholson OM, '1945 (still life)' 1945

    Ben Nicholson OM
    1945 (still life) 1945
    Oil on canvas
    frame: 867 x 690 x 61 mm support: 838 x 660 mm
    Purchased 1945 The Estate of Ben Nicholson. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2002

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Ben Nicholson (1894–1982) was one of the most radical British artists of the twentieth century. This will be the first major presentation of the work of Nicholson in the UK for over fourteen years. The exhibition reconsiders his position in British art history offering a new understanding of the modern in art, particularly in relation to national and local identities. Focusing on Nicholson’s English years, the three principal sections: Landscapes of the late 1920s; Abstract and landscape works made in St Ives during World War II and the Cubist still lifes made between 1945–58, draw on a selection of key works to demonstrate his continuity of vision and approach.

This major touring project has been developed collaboratively between Tate St Ives, Abbot Hall in Kendal, Cumbria and De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill,  It has been curated by Chris Stephens, Head of Displays at Tate Britain and a leading expert on the art of St Ives from the 1940s–60s. Each of the three venues has a particular relevance to Ben Nicholson: Kendal is close to the home he shared with his first wife; the De La Warr Pavilion was the product of the international modern movement to which he was central; St Ives was seminal to Nicholson’s art and his home for nineteen years.