The exhibition was based on the selection of works shown at the 1954 Venice Biennale. A catalogue (Dutch only), with a text by Herbert Read and a selection of the artist's writings was published by the Amsterdam venue. A leaflet (French only) was published by the British Council, Paris to accompany the show in France and Belgium. A catalogue (German only), with a text by Herbert Read, was published by the Zurich venue. No ISBN numbers
The British showing was organised with the Tate Gallery and a catalogue, with an introduction by Herbert Read and notes by the artist, was published to accompany the London showing. No ISBN number.
The British Council Representative reported on 25 January that
Kaspar Niehus wrote in De Telegraaf (26 January) that In the bareness of Nicholson's paintings and reliefs there is without doubt something great and something distinguished. They posses other valuable qualities of art, namely repose, calm, and refined colouring, in which, by comparison with vulgar, photographic realism, we can find consolation.
In the bareness of Nicholson's paintings and reliefs there is without doubt something great and something distinguished. They posses other valuable qualities of art, namely repose, calm, and refined colouring, in which, by comparison with vulgar, photographic realism, we can find consolation.
Nicholson attended the opening at the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris where the Fine Arts Officer reported that 'the work blends beautifully with the building, but has not, as in Amsterdam, the defect of appearing a weaker part of the architecture. Here the architecture sets off the work: in Amsterdam the work set off the architecture. An effect of weakness and paleness, to be feared, is not apparent and the general overruling impression is one of great refinement. The drawings, which appear as one of the best elements of the show, are placed in the first room and act as a splendid introduction … The bigger paintings are placed in the large last room, well balanced and hung according to colour and size - a very logical French hanging for a French public.
At the conclusion of the exhibition the Fine Arts Officer reported again, recording his disappointment at the press coverage of the exhibition and observing that
The exhibition opened at Palais des Beaux Arts on 4th March. There had been a great deal of advanced publicity in connection with showing in Paris and the private view there was an enthusiastic and exceptionally large gathering of people, including many painters - among them Delvaux and Tytgat. The paintings were hung is roughly chronological order and looked their best against the neutral grey of the velvet curtains with which the walls of the galleries are covered. Eleven paintings were sold. The press notices on the whole reflected the warmth shown by the critics on the opening day. There were some twenty articles, a few of them hostile, the majority appreciative.
UK, London, Tate Gallery
- 21 June 1955 − 31 July 1955
Switzerland, Zurich, Kunsthaus
- 09 April 1955 − 21 May 1955
Belgium, Brussels, Palais Des Beaux-Arts De Bruxelles
- 05 March 1955 − 27 March 1955
France, Paris, Musee National D'art Moderne
- 21 January 1955 − 20 February 1955
Netherlands, Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum
- 01 November 1954 − 31 July 1955