John Piper (1903-1992) is one of the leading figures in Modern British art. He is best known for his depictions of English landscape, architecture and the documentation of the bomb-damaged churches and buildings of post-war Britain.
This exhibition forms part of the gallery’s In Focus series, in which a work from the Jerwood Collection is taken as the starting point for a show, in this case Piper’s Beach and Star Fish, Seven Sister’s Cliff, Eastbourne, 1933-34, which was purchased in 2014.
During the 1930s, Piper was one of the key pioneers of abstract art in Britain. This exhibition explores Piper’s commitment to modernism and the way he weaves abstract techniques through his work. It also reflects his interest in the work of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and the coastal paintings of Dieppe by Georges Braque.
A selection of archive material, theatre designs and also a mosaic table will form part of the display.
Running concurrently is John Piper and Jack-in-the-Green, a one-room display of Piper’s ‘foliate’, or leafy, head works which are based on the traditional figure of the Green Man – a prominent character in Hastings’ May Day celebrations.
Image © Mike Fear