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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