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Benjamin Lauder "Ben" Nicholson, OM (10 April 1894 – 6 Feb. 1982); British painter of abstract compositions (sometimes in low relief), landscape and still-life.
Born on 10 April 1894 in Denham, Buckinghamshire, son of the painters Sir William Nicholson and Mabel Pryde, and brother of artist Nancy Nicholson, architect Christopher Nicholson and Anthony Nicholson. His maternal grandmother Barbara Pryde (née Lauder) was a niece of the famous artist brothers Robert Scott Lauder and James Eckford Lauder. The family moved to London in 1896. Nicholson was educated at Tyttenhangar Lodge Preparatory School, Seaford, at Heddon Court, Hampstead and then as a boarder at Gresham's School, Holt, Norfolk. He trained as an artist in London at the Slade School of Fine Art between 1910-11, where he was a contemporary of Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer, Mark Gertler, and Edward Wadsworth. According to Nash, with whom he formed a close friendship, Nicholson spent more time during his year at the Slade playing billiards than painting or drawing, since the abstract formality of the green baize and the constantly changing relationships of the balls were, he later claimed, of more appeal to his aesthetic sense.
...In London Nicholson met the sculptors Barbara Hepworth (to whom he was married from 1938 to 1951) and Henry Moore. On visits to Paris he met Mondrian, whose work in the neoplastic style was to influence him in an abstract direction, and Picasso, whose cubism would also find its way into his work. His gift, however, was the ability to incorporate these European trends into a new style that was recognizably his own.
...n auction record for this artist of $1,650,500 was set at Christie's, New York, for Sept 53 (Balearic), an oil and pencil on canvas, on 1 November 2011. His painting Fiddle and Spanish Guitar, in oil and gravel on masonite, was sold for €3,313,000 by Christie's in Paris on 27 September 2012.