abstract design, 1934
About the artist
Born 1894 – Died 1982
In the early 1930s Ben Nicholson’s interest in printmaking was generally of an informal and experimental nature, a fact highlighted by his haphazard record keeping. abstract design 1934 was his only woodcut, and his first print to be editioned. It shows Nicholson engaging with a new abstract language, which anticipates the tight geometry of the reliefs of the mid-1930s.
There are two impressions of abstract design 1934 at Kettle’s Yard, both proofs in preparation for the numbered edition. Their comparison offers a useful glimpse into the standards in Nicholson’s printmaking. The more visible difference between is in the inking. Some of the details are lost in the more heavily inked version, giving the other a stronger emphasis on texture and pattern.