After Honor Clerk had done an exhibition on the Sitwells at the NPG, she planned to do an exhibition on the Nicholsons as a family, including Kit, who was Ben’s younger brother.   Now Dulwich Picture Gallery, in conjunction with Kettle’s Yard, have done an exemplary small exhibition, showing how Ben and Winifred Nicholson reacted to one another:  to the same subjects, developing together, living in Cumberland on Hadrian’s Wall (Howard country), painting the same hillside and the same farm;  befriending William Staite Murray and Christopher Wood;  and then moving down to St. Ives where they were very obviously influenced by the naive style of the self-taught Alfred Wallis.   He was better at still lives, she at portraits.   She comes out of it strongly, not least in the move to Paris and abstraction in the early 1930s.   The exhibition demonstrates very clearly that she was at least as important as Barbara Hepworth in the formation of his art.


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