John Piper in the 1930s: Abstraction on the Beach

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John Piper was one of the leading modernist artists of the twentieth century whose work was not only at the forefront of artistic developments but also appealed very directly to a wide public. Marking the centenary of Piper's birth in 1903, this book dramatically uncovers the various shifts in his early career while working largely on the south coast of England, from a lyrical painterly style and lively use of collage, inspired by Picasso and Braque, into pure abstraction, in keeping with international modernism. The second half of the 1930s saw the order and harmony of Piper's work unsettled by the onset of war, and with it a return to representation in an attempt to find a contemporary idiom with which to express his romantic love of the past. The tension between abstraction and realism in Piper's work of the period is engagingly told and stunningly illustrated, in this, the first in-depth exploration of the artist's formative years.

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John Piper in the 1930s: Abstraction on the Beach (Art Books)

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In his long career, English artist John Piper (1903-92) oscillated among painting, printmaking, set design, stained glass design, photography, and writing. Though his shifting focuses and somewhat ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

David Fraser Jenkins is a Senior Curator in the Collections Division at Tate. He has published widely on Piper Frances Spalding is an art historian, critic and biographer. She is currently Reader in Twentieth-century British Art at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne

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