John Piper 1903 - 1992


Private collection UK


In 1934 Piper had started making abstract collages and paintings; then, two years later, inspired by Picasso and the Surrealists, he went on to experiment with the idea of introducing elements from these into a series of landscape collages. They were notably successful. Beach at Donegal, made while touring in Ireland with the American critic James Johnson Sweeney in 1937, has a witty simplicity of form and breezy spontaneity of feeling that would seem to owe much to the purely abstract work that Piper continued to make right up to 1938. All of these collages were made out of doors, on the spot, with a stock of papers Piper carried around with him. Much of the strength of these as well as the pleasure they convey comes from sensing Piper’s own enjoyment as he matched the observed landscape to the choice and arrangement of the coloured papers.