"This is the first biography of Ben Nicholson (1894-1982), leading light of the British modern movement. Instrumental in forging a bridge between retrograde London and members of the Paris avant-garde in the thirties, including Georges Braque, Piet Mondrian, Naum Gabo and Kandinsky, he was also the creator of one of that rich decade's most famous icons, his white reliefs. After the war he was catalyst and king to the influential art colony which sprang up around him and his second wife Barbara Hepworth in the unlikely setting of the Cornish fishing town of St. Ives. As such he provided inspiration and support to such artists as Patrick Heron, Peter Lanyon and Terry Frost, and won virtually all the international art prizes available." "This book shows how Nicholson's personality contrasted strongly with the austere image projected by both himself and his critics. His was a quixotic character, obsessed with ball-games and word play, a sartorial dandy whose life entailed a succession of triangular relationships in which he either strung along two women - most notably the painter Winifred Nicholson and the sculptress Barbara Hepworth - or dallied with other men's wives. It also comes as a revelation that much of his life and work was informed by his belief in Christian Science. Drawing on substantial archive material coupled with interviews with colleagues, friends and family, Checkland has provided an account not only of Nicholson's life but also of his friendships - and feuds - with many of the biggest names in twentieth-century art."--Jacket.