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This still life is one of a small group of firework paintings Nicholson painted in November 1929. The five fireworks are rendered using flat areas of unmodulated colour set against the heavily abraded white ground of the wood panel. The composition is spatially ambiguous. Roughly incised lines around two of the fireworks suggest shadows and shallow pictorial space, but this is contradicted by three of the forms, which penetrate the work's painted black border complicating the recessional scheme constructed in the rest of the painting.
oil on wood
H 29.5 x W 46 cm
gift from Margaret Gardiner, 1979
1. 'Ben Nicholson 1929 / 15 St Leonards Terrace / Chelsea'. 2. gallery label for The Redfern Gallery, London. 3. exhibition label for Tate (Pier Gallery Collection 20th Sept-29th Oct 1978). 4. exhibition label for Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums (Pier Gallery Collection 1978). 5. exhibition label for Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Out of Place: Works from the Pier Arts Centre collection). 6. exhibition label (artist name and title). 7. 'R.S' (within a circle).