John Piper’s relationships with the British landscape and artists including Jean Arp and Georges Braque are explored in this major show consisting of more than 40 works.
Surrey-born painter, printmaker and stained-glass designer John Piper (1903-1992) worked across a diverse range of practices throughout his career, but a constant was his affinity with his native landscape. This takes centre stage in Tate Liverpool’s sizeable autumn show, which aims to offer a new perspective on Piper’s depictions of natural and urban environments.
The exhibition also emphasises Piper’s relationship with international artists and the dialogue between them – exploring the influence of figures like Arp and Braque, and Piper’s own influence, in turn, on modern art in Britain from the 1930s onwards.
Paintings, reliefs and collages such as the cubist-influenced Beach with Starfish (1993-34) chart his stylistic development from representational art through abstraction, while a display of selected works by contemporaries including Alexander Calder and Jean Hélion helps illuminate Piper’s role as a champion of international abstract art in Britain.