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Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist and Modern Art including Ceramics by Pablo Picasso

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Olympia

Ben Nicholson, 1894-1982
OLIVE GREEN
signed, titled and dated Sept 59 on the reverse
pencil on paper mounted on board
30.5 by 27.5 cm.; 12 by 10 3/4 in. (paper)
41 by 39 cm.; 16 1/8 by 15 1/2 in. (board)
Executed in September 1959.
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Ben Nicholson combined abstract and representational forms in his drawings which formed an integral part of his work, not only as preparatory studies but also as autonomous works. His works of the later 1950s are characterized by the interaction between landscape and still lives through fusion, rather than confrontation as in his earlier works. The still lives are characterized by connecting the idea and form through stylized geometrical forms and abstract background.

In this work from 1959 the clear, transparent and immaterial network of sharp lines is set against the smooth background, thus creating the sensation of still life hovering on the soft olive green background.
As many of his “non-figurative” works, this one too has a source in nature – which is reminiscent in the title and the warm pastel colours of September when it was painted.

Provenance

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Robert B. Mayer, Chicago,
Main Street Gallery, Chicago
Sale: Christie's, New York, 15th November 1989, lot 89

Catalogue Note

This work is reproduced on page 19 of David Baxandall's publication, Art in Progess: Ben Nicholson, published in 1962.

Impressionist and Modern Art including Ceramics by Pablo Picasso

|
Olympia