Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Paul Peter Piech - Artist Printer

I can't quite remember how I discovered this artist but it was probably as a result of a very broad search on AbeBooks for something like signed linocuts. It is surprising what pops up from time to time.

Paul Peter Piech (1920-1996) was an artist and printer working in the UK. He was born in Brooklyn and studied at the Cooper Union College of Art in New York before working as a graphic artist for Dorlands Advertising Agency.

During World War Two he was drafted into the Eight Army Airforce and based in Cardiff. Where amongst other duties he painted glamorous ladies on to the aircraft. During his time in Wales he met his future wife and stayed to marry her after the war had ended. After further study at the Chelsea College of Art he again worked in advertising.

In 1959 he established his own little private press called Taurus Press in Bushey Heath and it is from this period that these linocut illustrated books date. These books were made using a letterpress machine and as result they often have their own little idiosyncrasies such as slightly out of line illustration or problems with centring. 



His books were sometimes classic text such as William Blake, J F Kennedy and Walt Whitman or modern poetry and short stories. There a several collaboration with the writer Hugo Manning including; The Daughter, Woman at the Window and Dylan Thomas, a poem. The short stories are very literary with  clear meanings, the story "The Daughter" was slighty disturbing.




This is meant just as a taster, so I will let you have a bit of fun googling. I suggest you start with ABE to see the number of publications, writers and publishers that he worked with. The majority of his small books were published in limited editions often signed by both the writer and artist (no signed Blakes). The editions also appear in different formats some hardcover some very soft back, almost pamphlet like. Better still most are affordable and currently are priced up to £25.00 with a few portfolio types being a lot more.


Here are a few internet references to help;
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-paul-peter-piech-1327233.html
http://www.google.co.uk/search?
http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchResults?
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