The stage-like interleaving of coloured planes of this work reflect Piper’s engagement with abstract aesthetics. Though Piper is more commonly thought of as a painter of historical architecture and the landscape, for a short period he was intimately involved in the avant-garde.
Date of work
Oil paint on canvas on plywood 91.7 x 106.5 cm Tate. Purchased 1954
A significant British twentieth-century artist, John Piper is known for his poetic depictions of the British landscape. Born in Epsom, Surrey, Piper began studying art in 1927 at The Richmond College of Art and then at the Royal College of Art. His early work reflected the trend for abstraction and was influenced by his frequent trips to Paris where he befriended the artist Alexander Calder. He worked across an extraordinary range of disciplines including designs for stained glass and theatre sets yet his powerful and romantic paintings of the British landscape are considered his most iconic work.