Ben and Winifred Nicholson's grandson to curate exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery

By Culture24 Reporter | 13 March 2014

Ben and Winifred Nicholson's grandson, Jovan, curates a major exhibition on the couple and their friends at Dulwich Picture Gallery this summer

Click on the picture to launch the gallery

The productivity of Ben and Winifred Nicholson, whose ten-year marriage saw the painterly couple on particularly prolific artistic form, will be outlined at Dulwich Picture Gallery during a three-month exhibition curated by the couple’s grandson this summer, with 15 publically unseen works including Ben’s Still Life, made between 1926 and 1927, and his wife’s Flowers in a Glass.

A display of more than 80 works will demonstrate how the pair often painted the same subjects. There will be two views of Chelsea, from 1924, as well as landscapes, seascapes, still-lifes and portraits, grouped by location according to their time in London, Lugano, Switzerland, Cumberland and Cornwall.

A photo of a painting of flowers on a table
Winifred Nicholson, Flowers in a Glass Jar (circa 1925). Oil on canvas© Trustees of Winifred Nicholson
Jovan Nicholson has included art by their friends and contemporaries Christopher Wood, Alfred Wallis and William Staite Murray. “It has been a surprise and delight to unearth so much new material,” he says.

“I have curated the show to create dialogues between juxtapositions of pictures, and so reveal the affinities between the artists.

“This is most evident in the section on Cornwall where Ben Nicholson, Winifred Nicholson and Christopher Wood each responded to the meeting with Alfred Wallis in different ways.”

An Art Historian who has worked with the Henry Moore Foundation, the Barbican Art Gallery and the Russian Museum in St Petersburg, Nicholson has examined his ancestors’ friendship with Wallis – a self-taught marine painter who the Nicholsons and Wood discovered by chance in St Ives – and Staite Murray, an avant-garde potter whose influential craftsmanship will appear next to the paintings and drawings.

“It was particularly pleasing to find two paintings by Alfred Wallis that belonged to Christopher Wood,” says Nicholson.

“For me, it has been an enduring and deepening pleasure to come to know my grandparents' work more closely.

“Most importantly, I hope the show will bring much pleasure and enjoyment to the viewers.”

  • Art and Life: Ben Nicholson, Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Alfred Wallis, William Staite Murray, 1920 –1931 is at Dulwich Picture Gallery from June 4 – September 21 2014.

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Pics: Trustees of Winifred Nicholson; York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery); Leeds Museums and Galleries (Leeds Art Gallery); The Bridgeman Art Library; Winifred Nicholson Trustees; Private Collection, on loan to mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art; Kettle's Yard / Trustees of Winifred Nicholson
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