Luke Piper

Luke Piper (b.1966) is married to Julia de Salis and he first came to Bondo in 1995. His first major painting show was in 1992 at the London, CCA Dover Street Gallery, which also featured work by his father Edward Piper (1938 – 1992) and his grandfather John Piper (1903 – 1992). John Piper and Luke’s grandmother Myfanwy played a significant role in the abstract art movement in the 1930’s and was friends with artists such as Fernand Léger, Alexander Calder, Graham Sutherland and Henry Moore. John was commissioned by the British war office to record the destruction of the Blitz during WWll in 1940 and 1941 and became one of Britain’s leading landscape painters of postwar Britain. John was an extremely diverse practitioner: as well as his painting, he is well known for the stained glass window designs in cathedrals and churches, set designs for plays and opera which were written and co-written by Myfanwy and Benjamin Britten, photography, as well as his ceramics and textiles.

Luke read Geography at Cambridge University leading him to Melanesia on an anthropological assignment to study tribal warfare, and then later to expeditions in Africa. As a landscaper, Luke explores the powerful linkage between ancient beliefs and the physical landscape – an idea both urgent and elemental, and one that, as his experience in the Aboriginal lands of Australia has revealed, goes right to the heart of human traditions.

“Like the paintings, the journeys we take in the Engadin are about the character of places that comes from not just the geology and underlying strata but also the unseen magic that is beyond the pure physical appearance of a place. It’s a voyage of discovery into the collective relationship with our landscape that inspires us and connects us both to each other and to nature…”

Working en plein air, these recent paintings are a response to the air, ever changing light and weather in the mountains, valleys, lakes and streams that seem to be part of the culture.

Here in the mountains we are really surrounded by the natural world in such a way that it cannot be ignored. You look into the landscapes, not over them. Like the villages, high up stalle and steep meadows, the agriculture and buildings are arranged within the vertical folds and geological niches of the landscape. Yet our perception is constantly drawn out and away to infinite peaks in a way that it never could in the lowlands. The sheer power of the wild, of Nature, is ever-present. Untouched, unspoilt places abound just a stone’s throw from the mountain path; fields and valleys can be swept away and changed overnight or with the extremes of the seasons. The incident light of morning and evening and the Alpine weather adds to the spectacular theatre of it all like in the dramatic scenes captured by J.M.W Turner in 1809 when he travelled through. There is, therefore, a great contradiction of calm, sublime serenity coupled with the colossal, harsh reality of Nature. This conflict invades the emotions. It can be seen in the work of artists who come from and have lived here; the Giacometti family of artists, Giovanni Segantini, Varlin and Ferdinand Hodler. In the Engadin, somehow the line between the inner and outer self, reality and surreality, life and death is also much finer and in places almost translucent.


Some pictures may still be available in a price range from CHF 1’950.- to CHF 5’450.-. Please ask us.