Peter Khoroche discusses the artist's reliefs of this period, 'we see Nicholson constantly exploring and developing the potentialities of colour and texture just as much as form. It is as if all the subtle graduations of colour, tone and texture that he registered while drawing landscape and architecture were stored away, later to find expression in his carved surfaces where colour is not simply brushed onto the surface of the board but is made to seem indivisible from it. These formal and technical developments go hand in hand with Nicholson's expanding range of motifs and with his desire to make his work as inclusive a response to life as possible.
The reliefs are rarely straightforward evocations of place: they are not so much landscapes as mindscapes. Above all, they are objects whose colour, form and texture are to be appreciated for themselves and for what they suggest to each individual viewer. They are a means of conveying an experience or an awareness, not the representation of something. Obviously this requires a special sort of aesthetic contemplation in the spectator who, if properly attuned, will enter into Nicholson's idea and so share with him a highly charged piece of living reality. Just as for Nicholson it was a question of finding and recognizing the right mood before he could start on a drawing, or of going deeper and deeper into his subconscious as he scraped and painted and rubbed and scoured the bone-hard hardboard of his late reliefs, so we who contemplate the finished work must do so with sympathetic sensitivity, opening up our own memory-store to meet it halfway' (see P. Khoroche, Ben Nicholson 'chasing out something alive' drawings and painted reliefs 1950-75, Cambridge, Kettle's Yard exhibition catalogue, 2002, pp. 26, 38).