John Piper (1903-1992) is one of the most significant British artists of the twentieth-century. Renowned for his powerful and romantic paintings of his native landscape, he worked across an extraordinary range of artistic disciplines including designs for stained glass and theatre, profoundly influencing the cultural landscape of modern Britain.
For the first time, this exhibition highlights the artist’s pivotal role in the development of modern art in Britain, by placing him alongside the likes of Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso, among others. By doing this the exhibition will illuminate Pipers transition from representation to abstraction. The display will include many works which highlight this development such as Beach with Starfish c.1933-4 which presents a familiar English coastal scene reimagined by piper in a Cubism-influenced paper collage.
The exhibition also breaks new ground as it brings early native art forms including medieval stained glass windows and Anglo-Saxon stone carving into dialogue with European modernism, demonstrating how these were connected and innovated in the work of John Piper.
Piper had a significant connection to the North West, and Liverpool in particular, designing the magnificent stained glass windows in Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral.