Winifred Nicholson, Liberation of Colour - by Jovan Nicholson


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This new publication explores the whole career of Winifred Nicholson with a special emphasis on her theories of colour. Using specific paintings to examine her ideas and writings about colour the book includes her late 'prismatic' pictures which have never been properly explained. Throughout her life Winifred Nicholson was interested in prisms and rainbows, but when she was given some prisms by a physicist friend in the mid 1970s her painting took on a new direction. Looking through a prism she saw objects with a rim of prismatic colour, and explored and developed these ideas, often painting pictures that verged on the abstract. Nicholson's 'prismatic' pictures were a culmination of her life's search to find "form's secret and rhythmic law". She painted them in Greece in 1979, at her home in Cumbria, and during her last painting trip to the Island of Eigg in the Hebrides in 1980, where she had an inspired period of painting and made some of her best loved pictures.Published on the occasion of the exhibition 'Liberation of Colour' at mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern art, the book illustrates many previously unseen paintings from private collections, as well as some of Nicholson's best known works, and draws on new research, including previously unseen archival material.

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