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Show spotlights abstract champion Piper

Work by the artist who created Coventry Cathedral's magnificent baptistry window is on show at the Mead Gallery at Warwick Arts Centre until June 21.

John Piper, who died in 1992, was a major contributor to the artistic landscape of 20th century Britain, taking inspiration from the UK's rich history and contrasting scenery.

In 1919 he was one of seven painters plus five sculptors who championed abstract art through their own Seven and Five Society. Piper, who later became greatly influenced by Paris-based artists, also made regular contributions to the magazine Axis, edited by his wife Myfanwy.

During the Second World War he became an official war artist, creating some of his most sombre and vital works, including the still-smouldering remains of the old Coventry Cathedral, after the 1940 blitz (above).

It was a scene he was to return to in the 1960s when he was invited to create the joyful, peacetime window for the adjoining new cathedral.

In this new exhibition which is free, visitors will also see rare examples of Piper's work, on loan from the Tate and the Victoria and Albert Museum, which show his theatre sets and costumes for Benjamin Britten, the Shell motoring guides he illustrated for John Betjeman, and many items of printmaking, tapestry and fabric design on loan from private collections.

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