BEN NICHOLSON, O.M. (1894-1982)
BEN NICHOLSON, O.M. (1894-1982)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION
BEN NICHOLSON, O.M. (1894-1982)

1944 (still life)

Details
BEN NICHOLSON, O.M. (1894-1982)
1944 (still life)
signed and inscribed 'NICHOLSON/CHY AN KERRIS/CARBIS BAY/CORNWALL' (on the reverse)
oil and pencil on board, on the artist's prepared board
10 ¼ x 13 7/8 in. (26 x 35.2 cm.)
Painted in 1944.
Provenance
with Alex Reid & Lefevre, London, where purchased by Godfrey Winn, London.
with Galleria d'Arte Galatea, Turin.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 18 July 1975, lot 117, as 'Two Mugs'.
with Crane Kalman, London, where purchased by the present owner in 1975.
Literature
H. Read (intro.), Ben Nicholson: Paintings, Reliefs, Drawings, Vol. I, London, 1955, p. 9, no. 155, illustrated.
Exhibited
Bermuda, National Gallery, on long term loan.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. On occasion, Christie’s has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. Where Christie’s holds such financial interest we identify such lots with the symbol º next to the lot number. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Alice Murray
Alice Murray Associate Director, Specialist

Lot Essay

Ben Nicholson’s love of still life painting was inherited from his father, William Nicholson, along with the many jugs, pots, ornate glass, and vases that the older artist had collected for his studio. Ben used still life painting and the constant revision of the simple forms of jugs and cups to experiment with representation and abstraction throughout his career.

During the war years, Ben Nicholson had moved with his wife, Barbara Hepworth to St Ives, Cornwall. At first, they stayed with Adrian Stokes and Margaret Mellis and were unable to find room for a proper studio until they moved to a larger house in Carbis Bay, Chy-an-Kerris, in the summer of 1942. Here, they were able to work separately again, but it was not until Nicholson moved into Porthmeor Studios, St Ives, in 1949 that he was able to contemplate painting on a large scale.

In the present work, a small still life painting features the studio cups in the foreground on a table-top, with a suggestion of the rugged Cornish landscape, represented by a pencil line, on the horizon. The carved board support is also scumbled with washes of earthly tones, representing the texture of the stony ground and rocks on the coastline. In this way, Nicholson has painted a work which reflects the beauty of Cornwall in the soft blue tones of the jug and the area above it to suggest the sky, with a backdrop of earthy tones across the picture surface, suggesting the landscape.

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