1941 (relief)

1941 (relief)

1941

Ben Nicholson

(British, 1894-1978)

Oil on wood

Framed: 46.7 x 65.4 x 5.1 cm (18 3/8 x 25 3/4 x 2 in.)

Contemporary Collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art 1965.449

Description

One of the pioneers of abstract art in Great Britain, Nicholson merged Cubist principles of design and construction with suggestive shapes inspired by Surrealism. A member of the avant-garde group Unit One during the early 1930s, he married sculptor Barbara Hepworth and settled at St. Ives in Cornwall, where his studio became a gathering place for artists from London. This construction of painted wood displays the compositional harmony, purity of form, and complex interplay of solids and voids, characteristic of his "white reliefs" of the Cornwall period. With its disciplined approach to compositional arrangement, 1941 demonstrates the influence of Piet Mondrian, who Nicholson met in Paris. The serene shapes suggest that Nicholson discovered a refuge in art at a time when Britain was struggling to survive the onslaught of the Nazi blitz.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.