Travulgar Square: Ben Nicholson Drawings 1976-77

Banvard Gallery, Knowlton Hall
November 9, 2011 - 7:00pm to December 2, 2011 - 5:00pm

Opening reception

Wednesday, November 9, 7:00PM, Knowlton Hall Banvard Gallery

The reception will be attended by the artist and follows the Baumer Lecture Series presentation by Dan Kildee.  The lecture and reception are free and open to the public.

about the show

The KSA Banvard Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9:00AM to 5:00PM and is free and open to the public. The Gallery is located on the first floor of Knowlton Hall on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Project Team

Kristy Balliet \ Phil Arnold

Build Team

Kristy Balliet \ Phil Arnold


Funding for the Knowlton School of Architecture Banvard Gallery is provided in part by the Ohio Arts Council Arts Access grant program.


The KSA Banvard Gallery presents an extensive selection of drawings from the collection of work entitled Travulgar Square by Ben Nicholson.  The series was completed during an intensive 18 month session spanning 1976-77.  This show will highlight work that was created with a distinct vision and was situated at the edge of technology. It utilized drawing techniques such as the wireframe and the serial section to selectively expose internal spatial implications and communicate complexity of organization and structure. The intricate development of three-dimensional space is exaggerated by extracted details that disclose the descriptive narrative with excruciating attention to detail.   

Many of these drawing techniques are now inherent to design representation tool sets, however their curatorial use is often not exploited.  The importance of this show and its relevance within the context of an academic environment is potentially more pertinent today than when it was created.  It stands as an example of extreme passion and precision channeled towards the communication of explicit ideas.  The Knowlton School of Architecture is proud to have this collection on exhibit and to inspire those that view the show.

British born, and educated at the AA, Cooper Union and the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Ben Nicholson is now Associate Professor of Architecture at SAIC in Chicago. He was guest professor at the Bartlett, SCI-Arc, Royal Danish Academy, the universities of Edinburgh, Michigan and Houston and a fellow of the Chicago Institute for Architecture and Urbanism. Nicholson’s publications include: The Appliance House, Thinking the Unthinkable House, and a satire The World Who Wants It? He has exhibited at the Canadian Center of Architecture, Cartier Foundation, Whitney Museum, and three times at the Venice Biennale of Architecture.

Nicholson currently lives in New Harmony, Indiana where he sorts through issues of rural and urban life in America - from urban agriculture to gun culture. His work on the hyper-minimalist architectural plan resulted in two hundred hand-drawn labyrinths exhibited at the 2008 Venice Biennale of Architecture. He contributed to the book Ineffable Architecture (2009), and to Architectures of the Near Future: Architectural Design (2009). Currently he is co-editing a book Forms of Spirituality: Modern Architecture and Landscape in New Harmony. Another book, Horror Vacui, on the mythology of number, geometry, labyrinths and beans, remains a future project.


Curators | Kristy Balliet and Phil Arnold

Download the poster (PDF)