Menu

Close

Close X
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10am - 5pm
Wednesday: 10am - 5pm
Thursday: 10am - 8pm
Friday: 10am - 5pm
Saturday: 10am - 5pm
Sunday: 11am - 5pm

Ben Nicholson: From the Studio

[ Exhibition )

On hold >
Painting by Ben Nicholson depicting coloured shapes based on abstract still life of bottles & glasses against a grey background.

Ben Nicholson, 1946 (still life – cerulean), 1946, Oil on canvas over board, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (Kearley Bequest, through The Art Fund, 1989) © Angela Verren Taunt

The Gallery is closed until further notice due to the impact of COVID-19. We are currently reviewing our 2020 summer exhibition programme – please check back here or on our social channels for updates.

Discover the everyday objects that inspired some of Ben Nicholson's most iconic abstract artworks.

Ben Nicholson (1894 – 1982) spent his career transforming everyday objects into extraordinary experiments into abstraction.

Nicholson’s studio was filled with objects that inspired him. From patterned mocha-ware jugs and cut glass goblets to spanners, hammers and chisels, these ordinary personal possessions were a source of almost endless inspiration to the artist.

This exhibition brings together for the first time Nicholson’s paintings, reliefs, prints and drawings alongside his rarely seen personal possessions and studio tools. It traces how the artist’s style developed, from his early traditional tabletop still lifes to his later abstract works.

Still life was at the heart of Nicholson’s artistic practice. Through these humble items, he began to experiment with form and colour. His early works in particular owed inspiration to his father, the painter William Nicholson.

The exhibition will also trace the artistic and personal influences on Nicholson’s evolutionary still life style from the 1920s to the 1970s. It will explore his time with Winifred Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth, as well as his encounters with other Modernist greats, Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondrian.

But of course I owe a lot to my father – especially to his poetic idea and his still-life theme … not only from what he did as a painter but from the very beautiful striped and spotted jugs and mugs and goblets, and octagonal and hexagonal glass objects which he collected. Having those things throughout the house was an unforgettable early experience for me.

Ben Nicholson