Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Piper's Dark Materials

Tate Britain has put a huge archive of John Piper photographs - all black and white, all topographical, many of them related to the artist's work on the Shell Guides - online, and is even asking for help in identifying some of them (and in acquiring images of what the locations look like now).  The collection makes for fascinating browsing, and contains many arresting images - like this one from the Surrey archive. Piper's photographs, however functional, are composed with a painter's eye, and the register is, unsurprisingly, dark ('Not very lucky with the weather, were you, Mr Piper?' as the King remarked at a Piper exhibition). Indeed, many of these wonderful photographs would probably be rejected in this era of bright, pin-sharp images. A shame darkness is now so undervalued.

No comments:

Post a comment