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May 1958 (Ronco 2 circles)
© Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS

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May 1958 (Ronco 2 circles) May 1958

Not on display

The 1950s saw Nicholson produce numerous paintings based on still lifes, but towards the end of the decade he returned to making reliefs. In 1958 Nicholson and his third wife Felicitas Vogler left St Ives and moved to the village of Ronco, Switzerland. Like many of his reliefs of this time, although abstract, they are informed by both still lifes and landscapes, often in ambivalent ways. Here, the formal composition can be seen as resembling a table-top viewed from above. Yet the colour scheme with its earthy grey and ocean blue, alongside the acknowledgement of a place in the title, call to mind the outdoors. There are also similarities to the work of the constructivists whom Nicholson knew, in the balancing of the circles and rectangular elements along a vertical axis.

Glossary Open

Abstract art

Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th 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.


The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.


A geometric, abstract style founded in the early twentieth century in Russia by Vladimir Tatlin. The movement reflected the machine age through its use of new technology and materials and applied its theories to architecture and design as well as fine art. Exiled artists such as Naum Gabo helped to spread the Constructivist ideas. ‘Constructionist’ and ‘constructed abstract art’ are also terms used to describe work relating to these ideas.


A form of sculpture where the image or design projects from a flat surface types of which include, bas-relief or low relief.

Still life

A painting, drawing or photograph depicting inanimate objects.

Abstract art, Composition, Constructivism, Relief, Still life


  • Acc. No. GMA 4878
  • Medium Pencil and oil on carved board
  • Size Framed: 34.00 x 40.00 cm
  • Credit Bequeathed by Felicitas Vogler 2007