Print Curiosities – No. 1: Paul Peter Piech

By Richard Roberts

Over the coming weeks I’ll be picking out and writing about a variety of print curiosities from my own collection. This post will focus on a Linocut print by Paul Peter Piech, (pronounced Peach), ‘When I Give Food To The Poor They Call Me A Saint, When I Ask Why The Poor Have No Food, They Call Me A Communist’. The Dom Hélder Câmara referred to in the print was a Brazilian Catholic Archbishop who was critical of the military regime of the time.

A framed Linocut print by Paul Peter Piech 1987
Signed Linocut Print – Paul Peter Piech – 1987

Piech (1920-1996) was a prolific printmaker and self-publisher who started out as a graphic designer. He founded his own imprint, Taurus Press, whose purpose, in his own words, was “to stimulate interest in and concern for humanity as a whole. I want to publish only work which I feel does this.” (V&A Archive)

Interestingly, he has a connection to LCC, teaching at the original London College of Printing for a time. In 2013 Four Corners Books, in association with the V&A, published The Graphic World of Paul Peter Piech which reproduced over 120 prints drawn from the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the University of Reading. This book and other Taurus Press publications are held in the LCC Library.

The book cover of The Graphic World of Paul Peter Piech by Four Corners Books.
Four Corners Books – V&A Publishing

In 2016, The People’s History Museum in Manchester staged an exhibition entitled: Dedicated to all Defenders of Human Freedoms: The Art of Paul Peter Piech. A lot of his posters really resonate in these turbulent times so if you haven’t already, go and check him out. Even better, if you feel inspired, how about picking up a V gauge yourself and giving Lino-cutting a go. Go on, you know you want to! On that cheesy note I’ll sign off. Bye for now.

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