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Ben Nicholson OM

British, 1894 - 1982

Nicholson is a leading figure in the history of British art whose influence remains to this day.

Both Nicholson's parents were painters and although he briefly attended the Slade School (1910-11) he was otherwise without formal training.


In Paris in 1921 he first saw the work of Picasso and Braque and when he returned to Paris in 1932 with his second wife, Barbara Hepworth, they made direct contact with Picasso, Braque, Arp and Brancusi.

Nicholson moved to Cornwall at the outbreak of the Second World War and he and Hepworth were at the centre of the artistic community around St Ives. His marriage to Hepworth was dissolved in 1951 and he left the UK in 1958 for Switzerland.

Nicholson won First Prize at the Carnegie International 1952, the First Guggenheim International Prize in 1956 and the International Prize for Painting at the Sao Paulo Bienal in 1957. 

He has had major retrospective shows at the Tate Gallery in 1955 and 1968 and his work is held in major collections around the world.

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