The Art of John Piper
- Hardback (BB)
- 30 Jun 2016
The first published survey of the whole of John Piper’s art throughout his long life; the book includes not just his painting and printmaking, but his stained glass and opera designs. It was begun in collaboration with the artist and his wife Myfanwy and has continued with the encouragement of the Piper family. Piper was a major artist of the twentieth century. He was a pioneer of modern abstract art in Britain in the 1930s, the painter of the ruins of the Blitz in Coventry, London and Bath, of the Ruskinian beauty and loneliness of the summits and panoramas of Snowdonia, the designer of nine of the first productions of the operas and a ballet by Benjamin Britten. Piper was also a great landscape painter of rural churches in Britain, a pioneer of lithography and screenprinting and of colour in ceramics. Finally, he was the designer of the stained glass the great cathedrals and churches of Coventry, Eton College and Plymouth and of smaller commemorative glass in country churches. Piper is described here as committed to sharing his art, taking on the technical challenge of introducing modern painting to traditional craft practice and to a generous acceptance of continuous change.
David Fraser Jenkins has selected numerous exhibitions of John Piper’s work, including the retrospective for the artist’s eightieth birthday at the Tate (now Tate Britain) in 1983. He was a curator at the National Museum of Wales, where he first met the artist. He has written extensively about Piper’s photographs, his paintings of the 1930s and 1940s, his paintings of Snowdonia and his work for the stage. Hugh Fowler-Wright began collecting and researching John Piper’s art in 1993. This has led to him assisting with loans and catalogue entries for many exhibitions from Grey College, Durham in 1999 to the Portland Gallery in 2013. He has written about John Piper’s diverse and extensive creativity in Piper in Print (2010) and Creative Partnerships (2011).