20 November 2015
Our work of the week is Ben Nicholson’s ‘Letters and Numbers’ from 1933 which will be on show at Variations on a Weekend Theme in North Cambridge next weekend.
In the interwar period Nicholson began to produce hand-printed fabrics for his own domestic use and experimented with lino-block printing. Nicholson’s designs where rough and ready in style, some were representational and other patterns were composed of abstract motifs and typography. In the 1930s he created several different designs, sometimes in collaboration with his second wife, Barbara Hepworth. The prints were made with blocks of linoleum and were used for bedspreads, curtains and upholstery. In the late 1940s Nicholson gave many of the blocks to his sister Nancy, who used them to print editions which she sold, alongside her own textiles, at Poulk Press in London.