Originally a cubist artist and abstract developer Ben Nicholson is a celebrated cornish artist heralded as developing new approaches to modern art in the UK across the 20th century, whilst generating income through painting more 'traditional images' superimposed by his own unique abstract outlines and approaches. Pragmatic in the need to satisfy audiences to sell work and yet continuing to develop his own style I have found myself a little unsettled in trying to consider his work.
I notice that I recognise his pieces and I understand how/why he was a friend of his contemporary Henry Moore and drawn to his 2nd wife Sheila Hepworth as all share an exploration of form and representation in different media. I personally love Henry Moore but am left 'wanting' by Nicholson's work. They leave me confused. I love the simple forms yet am frustrated by the inaccuracy often portrayed which appears more careless than 'artistic', which makes me not like them. I love the portrayal of simple forms on landscapes yet am frustrated by the lack of distinction in the landscapes which seem lazy. I love the principle of being different and pushing the boundaries yet am left puzzled by the question of which boundaries are being really pushed and what is trying to be said!
I'm moved to note all this because his work leaves me wondering and questioning what I think - I am a decisive confident person who normally knows what I like and I can't answer the question in my mind of whether I like Nicholson's work .... the fact that it leaves me questioning is quite powerful in its own way and has made me start to think about my final assignment, my own like of outlines, how powerful they are i there own simple way and an approach perhaps that I could incorporate in my own final piece. I don't know ... yet again I am left wondering.