Portrait of Ben Nicholson by Mabel Pryde, circa 1910-14
|Born||Benjamin Lauder Nicholson
10 April 1894
Eight Bells, Denham, Buckinghamshire, England
|Died||6 February 1982
Hampstead, Greater London, England
|Spouse(s)||Winifred Roberts (1920-38; divorced)
Barbara Hepworth (1938-51; divorced)
Felicitas Vogler (1957-77; divorced)
I have a book of buildings from 25,000 BC. These are huts built out of mammoth bones. These buildings were beautifully made, from the bones of the body into shelter.
I'm just interested in meditating on certain ideas, and I like to draw: that's my way of thinking.
I deeply believe in pluralism. I believe in the close proximity of multiple systems or agnostic systems.
You can just drift unhappily towards this vision of heaven on earth, and ultimately that is what architecture is a vision of: Heaven on earth, at it's best.
Any ideal system is its own worst enemy, and as soon as you start to implement these visions of grandeur, they just fall apart and turn into a complete tyranny.
Student journeys which were important to me were Sicily, Greece, and Egypt, where I really saw these buildings, and that is where you're able to grasp what things mean.
The latest page I've been working is about the organization of the pantheon of the gods. Who's indebted to whom, how they are related, who screwed whose uncle or grandmother, all of that.
The Irish and British, they love satire, it's a large part of the culture.
If you're into architecture and you're from the West, everything is hors d'oeuvres for working to rebuild the Temple. Ultimately you're led there. You can't escape it.
The beast for me is greed. Whether you read Dante, Swift, or any of these guys, it always boils down to the same thing: the corruption of the soul.
MTV lets us do whatever we want. For me, there is freedom in serving an experienced client who knows what they want and has the money to do it. MTV is that for us.
At this present time, matter is still the best way to think of architecture, but I'm not so sure for very long. The computer is radicalizing the way we think about our world.
I feel most strongly about Jerusalem, because architects ultimately have to address that city.
What I feel bad about is not having published very much in the last few years.
I'm interested in locating the holy grail of the minimum means to express the most complex ideas.
When I left school I went on trip around the world – I only got as far as Australia, but like a bloody fool I cut it short because of a girl. It's probably one of my big regrets in life.
Satire is fascinating stuff. It's deadly serious, and when politics begin to break down, there is a drift towards satire, because it's the only thing that makes any sense.
Politics are beautiful. They enable a community to live collectively with one another. It's not about stabbing each other in the back; it's about enabling people to reach their dreams and pursue happiness.