London, Waddington and Tooth Galleries, Ben Nicholson: Recent Paintings on Paper, 1978 (illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, no. 33);
London, Pangolin London & Kings Place Gallery, Sculptors’ Drawings & Works On Paper, 31 August – 12 October 2012;
Woking, The Lightbox, The Road to Abstraction, 21 May – 24 July 2016;
Hastings, Jerwood Gallery, Century: 100 Modern British Artists, 23 October 2016 – 8 January 2017
Ben Nicholson described his progress towards abstraction, saying “you eventually at some point discard altogether the forms of even the simplest objects as a basis and work out your idea, not only in free colour but also in free form. To most people this development may sound easy, but although I made my first ‘abstract’ painting in 1923 it wasn’t until 1933 that I was able to establish this development”. Nicholson did not in fact completely abandon traditional representation, and his later work moves freely between abstraction and figuration. Another key presence in his career was Alfred Wallis, the Cornish painter whose work Nicholson championed, and Green Jug demonstrates something of that artist’s “naivety” of style, with simple lines and shapes placed on a flat picture plane.