Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Ben, Bill and Billiards

Born on this day in 1894 was the artist Ben Nicholson, son of the illustrious William Nicholson. In contrast to his father, Ben embraced abstraction, and as a result his fame came to eclipse Sir William's, who never strayed from the unfashionable figurative path. This imbalance has been corrected to some extent in recent years; the big William Nicholson exhibition at the Royal Academy in 2004 surely opened many eyes (mine included) to his greatness.
  When young Ben was studying at the Slade, he spent most of his time (according to his fellow student Paul Nash) playing billiards. Nicholson claimed that the abstract formality of the green baize and the ever changing relationship between the coloured balls stimulated his aesthetic sense. Hmm.
  That's his First Abstract Painting (Chelsea, 1924) above.

3 comments:

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