Published to accompany the exhibition John Piper: The Fabric of Modernism at Pallant House Gallery (12 March – 12 June 2016).
This is the first book to focus on John Piper’s textile designs, including his furnishing fabrics for the post-war home for companies including David Whitehead Limited and Arthur Sanderson & Sons Ltd, headscarves for Ascher and others, ecclesiastical garments, and tapestries created for cathedrals and other public spaces. It accompanies a major exhibition at Pallant House Gallery marking the 50th anniversary of the unveiling of the artist’s first tapestry, the celebrated Chichester Cathedral Tapestry, bringing together the studies for this important example of religious art together with stunning examples of his tapestries and textiles.
Written by the exhibition’s curator Simon Martin, Artistic Director of Pallant House Gallery, the book explores how key motifs in the artist’s work such as historic architecture, abstract and religious imagery were translated from paintings into textiles, as well as the vibrant subjects explored in the final years of the artist’s life, including foliate heads, sunflowers and the church at Long Sutton. The publication reveals how Piper’s designs for textiles were intricately connected with his wider work, in particular his paintings and stained glass, and his ability to fuse modernist abstraction with traditional subject matter. Featuring an introduction by Piper’s biographer Professor Frances Spalding, this lavishly illustrated book features new research and a complete list of the tapestries designed by the artist, making it an indispensable guide to this fascinating aspect of John Piper’s oeuvre.