EXHIBITIONS: PAUL NASH – Tate Britain London – February 2017
I wanted to visit this exhibition particularly because of the subject of my parallel project on abstraction. Paul Nash (1889 – 1946) lived and worked through the period when abstraction emerged as a movement. His contact with Ben Nicholson and his group and possibly knowledge of Victor Pasmore were no doubt an influence on him when he began to explore abstraction in his work. One of the rooms at the exhibition focused on ‘Unit One’ which was the name given to a group of British artists formed in 1933 to promote modern art, architecture and design. Modern art was seen at the time to embrace two trends, abstraction and surrealism. The artists in the group were John Armstrong, John Bigge, Edward Burra, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson, Edward Wadsworth and the architects Welles Coates and Colin Lucas.
Nash experimented with abstraction but it was interesting to see the paintings in which his love of the organic kept breaking through. This was obvious in the work, ‘Dead Spring’. His compositions of plant forms are set against mirrors, open doors and windows and architectural structures, exploring the relationship between organic and architectural forms. I found this interesting for my own work. I also have a strong interest in the organic and seeing how this can be used in abstraction is an ongoing exploration.
I found the exhibition very stimulating and thought provoking. He was obviously an artist who was constantly examining his work and experimenting with new ideas.