Paperback160 PagesSize: 270 × 249 × 18 mm
Includes 80 colour and 40 b&w illustrations
ISBN: 9781848220041Publication: November 03, 2008

'...[an] enthusiastically and sensitively-written study...' The Sunday Telegraph

Ben Nicholson

Drawings and Painted Reliefs

Peter Khoroche


  • Now available in paperback, and unsurpassed in its scholarship and insight, this book is essential reading for all those interested in the work of a major 20th-century British modernist artist
  • The hardback edition was acclaimed as an important study of Nicholson's work and the most thorough study available of his painted reliefs (it has sold over 3000 copies in two printings)
  • The book draws on previously unpublished letters and includes illustrations of works rarely or never reproduced before

Though it gives an account of his entire career, this book, now available in paperback, is the first to focus on the works of Ben Nicholson's artistic maturity - the drawings and painted reliefs made between 1950 and 1975. Together with the white reliefs of 1934-9, these are the works by which he himself wished to be judged. Yet neither drawings nor late reliefs have received the attention they deserve. The drawings have mistakenly been viewed as somehow subsidiary to the paintings and reliefs, when in fact their qualities of wit, poetry, spontaneity and sheer virtuosity place them among Nicholson's finest and most personal achievements, while the late reliefs are shown to be complementary expressions of the interiorized vision that underlies all Nicholson's work. As his imagination ranges from the particular to the universal, the two-dimensional image explores one facet of reality, the three-dimensional object another. The 120 illustrations include a large number of works rarely or never reproduced before, and much of the extensive quotation from Nicholson's own writing has not previously been published.
The author's fresh approach and sympathetic insight reveal the underlying ideas behind the many shifts of style and changes of medium in Nicholson's long career, making sense of it as a coherent whole.

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