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Eye and Camera: Flame Four

Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion

Eye and Camera: Flame Four

Artist: John Piper (British, 1903–1992)
Culture: British, English
Date: 1967
Medium: Screenprint on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 18 15/16 x 25 15/16 inches (48.1 x 65.9 cm)
Sheet: 22 9/16 x 30 3/8 inches (57.3 x 77.2 cm)
State: 18
Edition: 70
Classification: Print
Credit Line: Gift of Robert Anthoine
Label Text:John Piper was a painter, publisher, and theatre and stained glass window designer who also explored experimental practices in printmaking. His Pop-inspired Eye and Camera series combines the artist’s interest in representational art with more abstract forms of expression. This series of semi-nude photographs of the artist’s wife plays with a variety of techniques and media to obscure the image and disrupt its integrity. Piper used collage, gouache, marbling, and drawing to unravel details within each photograph. In Eye and Camera: Multifigure (top left), several reproductions of a black and white photo of a woman’s back are distributed over a background of blues, purples, and oranges. In some instances, parts of the woman’s body are filled in with black, allowing the negative white space to suggest form (and vice versa). Piper also inserted negative versions of the photograph and simple outline drawings, scratched out to varying degrees. The omission of features and details throughout the print reduce the body to its essential components. Here, through the printmaking process, photography exists not as a true representation of reality, but another art form open to manipulation and subjective interpretation.
Object number: 1980.48.34