Bushey Heath: Taurus Press, n.d. Paul Peter Piech. Limited Edition. Hardcover. Oblong 8vo. Unpaginated. Illustrated throughout with Paul Peter Piech linocuts. Bound in red paper-covered boards with a linocut title label mounted on the front cover. Of an edition limited to 200 copies, this is number 1. Signed by Piech at the colophon. Light, scattered foxing. Very Good. Item #4798
Paul Peter Piech (1920-1996) was born in Brooklyn to Ukrainian parents. Stationed by the US Army in England during WWII, he moved there to pursue a graphic arts career in advertising. In his free time he operated the Taurus Press, finding expression for his liberal voice while perfecting his idiosyncratic design aesthetic. With work marked by pleasantly harsh lines and distinctive, abrasive imagery, Piech owes more to Erich Heckel and Die Brucke than the mushy rainbows-and-unicorns ethos of the hippie era in which he worked. That said, he was just as inclined to print the word “Dicktator” above an image of Richard Nixon; his use of Old Glory, positioned sideways to show the stripes as prison bars, prompted a formal protest, 1979, from the American Embassy in London. The recent revival of interest in Piech’s work has created a steady focus on his oeuvre. He has entered the pantheon of worthy printer-designers of his era. A scarce collection.