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Ben Nicholson

British, 1894-1982

Biography

A pioneer of abstract art in England, Ben Nicholson’s dedication to Modernism was profound. Though he began painting traditional still lifes and landscapes in England, an early-career visit to Paris and introduction to Cubism drastically altered the course of his career. Nicholson's exposure to Pablo Picasso’s work inspired him to incorporate abstract elements into his compositions, and soon to abandon representational art altogether. His later friendships with Georges Braque and Piet Mondrian taught Nicholson to paint with geometric lines (which he soon translated into relief carving.) At the rise of WWII, Nicholson moved to Cromwell, England, where he established the St. Ives School for the abstract movement. Shortly after and along with Russian sculptor Naum Gabo, Nicholson published a Constructivist manifesto, after which he was praised for bringing the movement to London.

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