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Shelter Experiments, near Woburn, Bedfordshire

Piper, John (CH)1943

Imperial War Museums

Imperial War Museums

John Piper was an established artist at the forefront of the Neo-Romantic movement at the time of the Second World War. He had established his reputation in the 1930s, concentrating on architecture and landscapes and also experimenting with abstraction. By the 1940s Piper had moved away from full abstraction and shared some similarities in style to artists such as Graham Sutherland, who along with the likes of Henry Moore and younger artists such as John Minton, have often been grouped together as Neo-Romantics. 'Shelter Experiments' is typical of Piper�s style at this time, enabling him to explore the simple architectural structures of the shelters, which are positioned in a rough circle like an otherworldly Stonehenge. The crater in the soil from an experimental explosion, the dark sky and the blankness of the countryside give the scene an apocalyptic feel, the only trace of humanity being the church visible in the background.

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Details

  • Title: Shelter Experiments, near Woburn, Bedfordshire
  • Creator: Piper, John (CH)
  • Date Created: 1943
  • subjects: air raid precautions/shelters, air raid/blitz, military engineering, landscape, bomb damage, British Home Front 1939-1945
  • shown in image: Woburn, Bedfordshire, England, UK
  • provenance: War Artists Advisory Committee commission
  • period: Second World War
  • Provenance: Š IWM (Art.IWM ART LD 3859)
  • Type: drawing
  • External Link: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/21808
  • Medium: watercolour and gouache

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