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PRIVATE VIEW 40NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2011www.nadfas.org.ukoperas as well as the 1951 DonGiovanni, and the churches of RomneyMarsh and the buildings of Brightonmade such an exhibition inescapable.For Piper always caught the spirit of the place.Piper's own association with Kent and Sussex began in his teenage yearswhen he cycled around the lanes ofboth counties with old guidebooks in his saddle bag and a sketch pad tohand, so it is fitting that this exhibitionbrings together so much of his work inboth counties. Several sketchbooks,including two from when he was 17,form part of the rich collection ofmaterial being shown.Mascalls Gallery is a purpose-built art gallery in the grounds of a secondaryschool. It not only provides a very richresource for the students but also isinvaluable for the wider community of Kent, linking shows to the local area. Piper, who did not benefit from any early specialised training in art (he was destined to become a clerk in the family firm of solicitors), would surely appreciate that his landscapepaintings will be shown at thisinnovative gallery. The first pictures have an almostnursery-like style to them; abstracteddetails like the lighthouse in theLittlestone-on-sea(Kettle's Yard,Cambridge), the shipping flags inNewhaven 1937(private collection) andthe row of flat facades in his 1939 DeadResort, Kemptown(Leeds Museumsand Galleries), like so many books on ashelf, stand out as forlorn comments onthe landscape itself. A more fluid style characterises hislater work but he never lost a sense ofclosely observed detail. We are meant toobserve the 1538 monument to EdwardMarwick in the chancel of Hamsey, StPeter(watercolour of 1939, DerbyMuseums and Art Gallery - a picturethat marks a decisive shift in Piper's artfrom mere abstraction), to admire theVenetian window and ionic pilasters inthe symmetrical five bay front (c 1745) of Firle Place(private collection) and tosmell the cleome hassleriana in thewhite garden at Sissinghurst(1984,private collection). Four years older than Piper, thearchitectural historian ChristopherHussey grew up at Scotney Castle. The first correspondence between them (Tate archives) was in February1945 after Hussey had written a review of the Leicester Galleriesexhibition of Piper's Sitwell paintings.The Husseys went to Piper's Chilternhome at Fawley Bottom; quite often it seems (sometimes uninvited). In 1946 Betty Hussey sent the Piperscandles, from Harrods, during aClockwise from top left:Dead Resort,Kemptown 1939; Hamsey Church,Sussex 1939;Newhaven,Sussex 1936;Littlestone-on-Sea 1936

NADFAS REVIEW/ SPRING 2011 41