'Rachel Nicholson: A mug, a spoon and a landscape' currently on view at Anita Rogers Gallery

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'Rachel Nicholson: A mug, a spoon and a landscape' currently on view at Anita Rogers Gallery
Rachel Nicholson, 4 Objects with Pink Blue Grey, 2017. Acrylic on board, 8" x 10".

NEW YORK, NY.- Anita Rogers Gallery is currently presenting a solo exhibition of works by British artist Rachel Nicholson (b.1934). The painter, daughter of artists Ben Nicholson (1894-1982) and Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975), began her career in her early 40s and has since become known for her sensitive still lifes and landscape paintings. This exhibition will include works from both genres in acrylic and oil on canvas, paper, and board. This selection will be complemented by two works on paper by the artist’s father, Ben Nicholson.

Rachel Nicholson’s work is defined by her simple yet powerful renderings, her balanced sense of color, and her understanding of harmonious patterns and geometry. In her still life paintings, she focuses on the small yet meaningful items that make up our daily lives – cups, spoons, pitchers. She elevates her subjects to objects of admiration and tenderness, often setting them against minimal or abstracted color fields.

On her work, the artist states

“My paintings are a way of trying to bring a sense of peace, and the hope that this will be extended to the viewer.”

This sense of harmony she aims for is achieved through her color and subject choices, through her shadowless and seemingly weightless objects, and through her affectionate depictions of serene places she visited as a child, including Cumbria, Derbyshire and the West Country. Rachel had her first solo exhibition forty-three years ago in London in June 1980 – there, her father Ben Nicholson commented on her painting Still Life on Navy Blue (1979): ‘I had never realised she could paint so well. I would have been happy to have painted that one myself.’ Indeed, Rachel comes from a long line of artists with similar sensibilities – her father Ben Nicholson and her grandfather William Nicholson both had a deep love of still life painting. While the name Ben Nicholson may immediately conjure images of geometric work for many, the modernist started his career in still life and returned to it often during his life. This exhibition will be complemented by two such works on paper – one still life and one landscape by Ben Nicholson.

Rachel Nicholson has exhibited with several galleries across the UK; this will be the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York City. Numerous works by the artist have been sold at auction, including Composition on Black and Green with Two Cups sold at Bonhams and Orange Mug & Cup on Paynes Gray at Sotheby’s in 2022, both for over double the estimate.

Rachel Nicholson was born in 1934, one of triplets, to the artists Ben Nicholson (1894-1982) and Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975). The family moved from Hampstead to St Ives, Cornwall in 1939. Rachel had no formal training and started painting in her early 40s after her youngest child started school. She married the Alzheimer’s researcher Dr Michael Kidd and has three children. ​

​Rachel began her career with still life compositions, which developed over the years into a range of landscape images from Cumbria, Derbyshire and the West Country where she spent most of her childhood. The arrangement of objects, whether within her compositions or outside them, particularly in her home, is equally important. Rachel inherited her love of still-life objects from her farther Ben Nicholson, and he from his father William Nicholson.

'My Paintings are a way of trying to bring a sense of peace, and the hope that this will be extended to the viewer'

Nicholson has had many gallery and museum exhibitions, more recently at the Newlyn Art Gallery, The Stoneman Gallery and at Caroline Wiseman Modern and Contemporary. Numerous works by the artist have been sold at auction, including 'Still life with Spoon and Jug' sold at Christie's South Kensington 'Twentieth Century British Art' in 2002.

Anita Rogers
Rachel Nicholson: A mug, a spoon and a landscape
June 8th, 2023 - August 26th, 2023

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