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Summary Article: Nicholson, Ben(jamin Lauder) (1894–1982) from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

English abstract artist. After early experiments influenced by cubism and the Dutch De Stijl group, Nicholson developed an elegant style of geometrical reliefs, notably a series of white reliefs (1933–38). He won the first Guggenheim Award in 1957.

Son of artist William Nicholson, he studied briefly at the Slade School of Art, London, and travelled in Europe and in California from 1912 to 1918. He married the painter Winifred Nicholson (1893–1981) in 1920, and the sculptor Barbara Hepworth (1903–1975) in 1938. During visits to Paris he met Picasso, Mondrian, Miró, Brancusi, and Calder, his style moving from the combination of cubism and naive art – he knew the naive painters Christopher Wood (1901–1930) and Alfred Wallis (1855–1942) – that characterized his early works, to total abstraction. In later years he was a leading member of the St Ives School.

His championship of abstract art extended to publications such as Circle (1937), an international review of constructivism, and the book Notes on Abstract Art (1941).

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