Mondrian and Nicholson: In Parallel
- The Courtauld Gallery |
- 16 February – 20 May 2012
- Free with National Art Pass.
- View venue & entry details
This exhibition charts the careers of Ben Nicholson and Piet Mondrian.
The former, a pioneer of abstract art in Britain, was profoundly influenced by a visit to the latter's Paris studio in 1934. Nicholson described the scene a decade later to art historian John Summerson: 'I remember after this first visit sitting at a café table on the edge of a pavement almost touching all the traffic going into and out of the Gare Montparnasse, & sitting there for a very long time with an astonishing feeling of quiet and repose (!) " the thing I remember most was the feeling of light in his room & the pauses and silences.'Follow the careers of both artists and track the ultimate fate of abstract art in Britain in this major show, which brings together paintings and reliefs by both artists.Enjoy a 10% discount in the Courtauld Gallery shop with your National Art Pass.
In 1936, Nicholson made 1936 (white relief), described by Charles Darwent in Art Quarterly magazine as 'the absolute rejection of everything Nicholson, and most other English painters of his generation, had stood for earlier … Nicholson's Reliefs did away with individualism in favour of communalism, that perfect, Neo-Plastic world which Mondrian had preached.'
What the critics say
At its best it shows things that are just plain beautiful
Despite its compendious character, this thoughtfully curated show is more than a mere anthology.
The show is a kind of British identity parade, a magpie's nest of evolving ideas about living, hoping, imagining, wanting, and getting