Ben Nicholson 1923 (Castagnola) 1923 © Angela Verren Taunt. All rights reserved. DACS, London 2023


Born 1894
Died 1982
Nationality English
Birth place Denham
Death place London

Ben Nicholson was the eldest son of the painters William Nicholson and Mabel Pryde. He did not devote himself seriously to art until 1920, the same year he married the artist Winifred Roberts. His early works were simple and traditional still lifes. In 1921 he saw an exhibition of cubist paintings in Paris, which was to influence his style for the rest of the 1920s. Nicholson turned to abstraction in the early 1930s. This was partly due to the influence of Barbara Hepworth, with whom he shared a studio from 1932 and partly due to the impact Piet Mondrian's work made on him in Paris in 1933.

Glossary terms

Glossary terms

Abstract Art

Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used from the twentieth century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.