Paul Peter Piech


Paul Peter Piech 1920-1996
Work from the Archive

(scroll down for images)
Good political art remains relevant beyond it’s time. Paul Peter Piech’s work is as relevant today as it was when he created it. An egalitarian and Pacifist, he was a champion of social justice, his visually arresting graphic work was aimed at grabbing the viewers’ attention and conveying information. Paul Piech was a man concerned with others. He wanted to share his views and he worked generously making artwork for exhibitions and concerts, providing strong visual imagery for good causes ranging from Amnesty International to Save Small Schools. His intuitive juxtaposition of image and text was mirrored in his love of Jazz music.

The Piech Family gave this archive to Yale College of Wrexham in 2006. This collection offers an insight into 50 years of humanitarian issues. It includes a substantial number of original prints and lino blocks by this prolific artist. The work has such relevance and power that it has much to offer a contemporary audience.

Background
Paul Peter Piech

Paul Piech was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1920 of Ukrainian parents. He studied at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York before coming to the UK with the US Air Force during World War 2. The War had an impact on him and led to him becoming a pacifist. In London he met his wife, Irene Tompkins, from South Wales, and they were later married.

After the War Paul took up Printmaking at Chelsea School of Art. He was appointed Artistic Director at W.S Crawfords in London, one of the leading post war advertising agencies. After working in advertising for over 20 years, he went freelance. In the 1960s and 70s he returned to Chelsea to teach graphic design and also taught at the London College of Printing and Middlesex Polytechnic.

In 1959 Paul Piech set up The Taurus Press at his home in Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire. Here he worked on books and prints, which explored new ways of combining text and imagery, often to reflect his deeply held views on pacifism and equality. His work was produced mainly through the medium of linocut and woodcut. He would work directly onto the lino, impatient to get to the proofing stage. Piech was fired by his passionately held beliefs in justice and human rights.

In 1986 Piech settled in Porthcawl, Wales, and as he had done for the previous 40 years set about throwing himself into the cultural life and social issues affecting Wales. There is a body of work in the Welsh Language, and many references to the work of Welsh poets. He died in Cardiff in 1996. Even in the hospital he had requested his tools and some lino. It seems apt that this artist, who had so much to give and so much to say, should still be being celebrated today, “lest we forget”.

Context

1920 Paul Peter Piech born, New York, USA
1929 Martin Luther King born.
1934 Art as Experience by John Dewey is published.
1935 Count Basie forms his first band.
1938 Paul Peter Piech studies art in New York.
1940s Bebop movement revolutionises Jazz (Gillespie, Parker, and Monk).
1945 USA liberates Nazi death camps finding thousands of dead and dying.
1945 USA drops Nuclear Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.
1947 India gains Independence from British Empire.
1948 Enactment of Apartheid Laws in South Africa.
1948 National Health Service Act free medical and dental care for all in UK.
1948 Gandhi (b.1869) assassinated in New Delhi by a Hindu fanatic.
1950 Start of the Korean War.
1953 End of Korean War. US Troops remain in South Korea to this day.
1953 Dylan Thomas (b1914) dies in the USA.
1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, Alabama, USA.
1957 Start of the Vietnam War.
1960 Sharpeville Massacre, South Africa 69 dead and 187 wounded.
1960 John F. Kennedy becomes President of the USA.
1961 Berlin Wall built.
1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
1962 Cymdeithas Yr Iaith Gymraeg (Welsh Language Society) set up.
1963 Cooperation between Presidents Kennedy and Khrushchev, USSR.
1963 Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
1963 President Kennedy assassinated.
1964 Martin Luther King wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
1964 The Civil Rights Act prohibits racial discrimination in the USA.
1964 Nelson Mandela jailed for plotting to overthrow Apartheid Government.
1965 Blacks get the vote in USA.
1965 First US troops sent to Vietnam.
1967 Martin Luther King lends his support to the anti-war movement.
1968 Richard M. Nixon becomes President of the USA.
1968 Martin Luther King assassinated.
1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons approved by UN.
1969 American Astronauts land on the Moon.
1972 Nixon re-elected president becomes the first US President to visit China.
1972 “Watergate” Scandal.
1973 US Troops withdraw from Vietnam.
1974 Faced with impeachment President Nixon resigns in the USA.
1975 End of the Vietnam War.
1977 Steve Biko dies in custody, South Africa.
1979 Margaret Thatcher becomes Prime Minister, UK.
1982 Falklands War.
1983 Margaret Thatcher re-elected.
1984 Miners Strike began, UK. 83 pits are closed over the following 6 years.
1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, Ukraine.
1987 Margaret Thatcher re-elected for historic third term.
1989 Berlin Wall comes down signalling an end to the Cold War.
1990 Margaret Thatcher Resigns.
1990 East and West Germany unite to become Germany.
1990 Nelson Mandela is released from prison.
1991 Nelson Mandela elected President of the ANC.
1991 Slovenian War.
1991 War in Croatia.
1992 War in Bosnia Herzegovina between Bosnian Muslims, Croats and Serbs.
1994 South African report reveals that Steve Biko sustained injuries in custody.
1994 Nixon dies in New York.
1995 War in Croatia.
1995 End of Bosnian War. 2.5 million refugees.
1996 The UN approves the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
1996 Paul Peter Piech dies in Cardiff.

Regional Print Centre
The Regional Print Centre is a joint partnership project between Yale College of Wrexham and the Arts Council of Wales. Since 2002 the Centre has been offering open access printmaking facilities to artists and designers from across Wales and beyond. The Centre also offers professional development, talks, workshops, demonstrations, courses, and exhibitions for the wider public.

Acknowledgements: Thank you to Olwen Stocker, Cen Williams, Luci Melegari, Jim Creed and staff at Yale College and the Arts Council of Wales.

printcentre@yale-wrexham.ac.uk
Regional Print Centre,
Yale College,
Grove Park Road,
Wrexham.
LL12 7AA
01978 311794 ext 2286
Text copyright Steffan Jones-Hughes 2006 Images Copyright the Estate of Paul Peter Piech. Photography Rob Meighen 2005
Isbn
0-9553031-1-7
978-0-9553031-1-1

logos Arts Council of Wales, Yale College and Regional Print Centre

Paul Peter Piech 1920-1996
Gwaith o’r Archif

Y mae celf wleidyddol dda bob amser yn berthnasol. Felly y mae gwaith Paul Peter Piech yr un mor berthnasol heddiw ag ydoedd pan y’i gwnaed gyntaf. Yn heddychwr ac yn gydraddolwr yr oedd yn fawr ei sêl dros gyfiawnder ac yr oedd ei waith graffig wedi’i lunio’n bwrpasol er mwyn hoelio sylw a chyfleu gwybodaeth i’r cyhoedd. Yr oedd Paul Piech yn berson oedd bob amser yn meddwl am eraill. Yr oedd arno eisiau rhannu ei feddyliau ac yr oedd ei haelioni’n ddiarhebol gan iddo ddarparu gwaith ar gyfer arddangosfeydd a chyngherddau gan gynhyrchu delweddau gweledol cryf er budd achosion da – o Amnesty Rhyngwladol i Achub Ysgolion Bach.Yr oedd ei ddull greddfol o gyfosod delweddau yn ddrych o’i hoffter o jazz.

Cyflwynwyd yr archif hon i Goleg Iâl Wrecsam gan y teulu Piech yn 2006. Y mae’r casgliad yn rhoi inni arolwg treiddgar o 50 mlynedd o faterion dyngarol. Y mae’n cynnwys nifer sylweddol o brintiau gwreiddiol a blociau leino o waith yr artist toreithiog hwn. Y mae’r gwaith mor berthnasol ac mor bwerus fel bod iddo lawer i’w ddweud wrth gynulleidfa gyfoes.

Cefndir
Peter Paul Piech

Ganwyd Paul Piech yn Brooklyn, Efrog Newydd yn 1920 i rieni o’r Wcrain. Bu’n fyfyriwr yn Ysgol Gelf Cooper Union yn Efrog Newydd cyn dod i’r DU gyda Llu Awyr yr UD yn ystod yr Ail Ryfel Byd. Effeithiodd y rhyfel arno a pheri iddo droi’i heddychwr. Cyfarfu â’i briod Irene Tomkins o Dde Cymru yn Llundain.

Wedi’r rhyfel astudiodd Paul argraffu yn Ysgol Gelf Chelsea ac fe’i penodwyd yn Gyfarwyddwr Artistig i W S Crawford yn Llundain, un o’r prif asiantaethau hysbysebu wed’r rhyfel. Wedi gweithio yn y byd hysbysebu am dros 20 mlynedd aeth ar ei liwt ei hun. Yn yr 1960au a’r 70au dychwelodd i Chelsea i ddysgu dylunio graffig ac fe fu hefyd yn athro yn Ysgol Argraffu Llundain ac yng Ngholeg Politechneg Middlesex.

Yn 1959 sefydlodd Wasg Taurus yn ei gartref yn Bushey Heath, Swydd Hertford, lle bu’n gweithio gyda llyfrau a phrintiau gan ymchwilio i ddulliau newydd o gyfuno testun a delwedd a cheisio adlewyrchu ei gred ddofn mewn heddychiaeth a chydraddoldeb. Yr oedd ei waith gan fwyaf yn cael ei gynhyrchu drwy gyfrwng toriadau leino a thoriadau coed. Gweithiai’n uniongyrchol ar y leino gan ysu am gael mynd at y proflenni. Yr oedd ar dàn dros gyfiawnder a hawliau dynol.

Yn 1986 sefydlodd ei hun ym Mhorthcawl gan barhau i ymadaflu ei hun i’r diwylliant Cymreig ac ymwneud â materion cymdeithasol yn ymwneud â Chymru. Ceir corff o waith yn yr iaith Gymraeg a nifer o gyfeiriadau at waith beirdd Cymru. Bu farw yng Nghaerdydd yn 1996. Hyd yn oed yn yr ysbyty fe ofynnodd am offer ac ychydig o leino. Y mae hi’n addas bod yr artist hwn, oedd â chymaint i’w roi a chymaint i’w ddweud, yn parhau i gael ei anrhydeddu “rhag inni anghofio”. (2)

Cyd-destun

1920 Geni Paul Peter Piech, Efrog Newydd, UDA
1929 Geni Martin Luther King
1934 Cyhoeddi Art as Experience gan John Dewey
1935 Count Basie yn ffurfio ei fand cyntaf
1938 Paul Peter Piech yn astudio celf yn Efrog Newydd
1940 Y symudiad bebop yn gweddnewid jazz (Gillespie, Parker a Monk)
1945 UDA yn rhyddhau’r gwersylloedd Natsiaidd a darganfod miloedd
yn marw ac wedi marw
1945 UDA yn gollwng bomiau niwcliar ar Hiroshima a Nagasaki
1947 India’n cael annibyniaeth o’r Ymerodraeth Brydeinig
1948 Deddfau Apartheid yn dod i rym yn Ne Affrica
1948 Gwasanaeth Iechyd Cenedlaethol yn rhoi gofal meddygol a
deintyddol am ddim i bawb yn y DU
1948 Gandhi (g.1869) yn cael ei lofruddio yn New Delhi gan ffanatig
Hindwaidd
1950 Rhyfel Korea yn cychwyn
1953 Rhyfel Korea yn dod i ben. Milwyr yr Unol Daleithiau yn parhau
yn Ne Korea hyd y dydd heddiw
1953 Dylan Thomas (g.1914) yn marw yn UDA
1955 Boicot y Bws yn Montgomery, Alabama
1957 Rhyfel Fietnam yn cychwyn
1960 Cyflafan Sharpeville, De Affrica: lladd 69 ac anafu 187
1960 Ethol John F Kennedy yn Arlywydd UDA
1961 Codi Wal Berlin
1962 Argyfwng Taflegryn Ciwba
1962 Sefydlu Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg
1963 Cydweithrediad rhwng yr Arlywyddion Kennedy a Khrushchev
1963 Araith ‘Mae gen i Freuddwyd’ Martin Luther King
1963 Llofruddiaeth yr Arlywydd Kennedy
1964 Martin Luther King yn ennill Gwobr Heddwch Nobel
1964 Deddf Hawliau Sifil yn gwahardd gwahaniaethu hiliol UDA
1964 Carcharu Nelson Mandela am gynllwynio i ddymchwel y
Llywodraeth Apartheid
1965 Y bobl dduon yn cael yr hawl i bleidleisio yn UDA
1965 Y milwyr cyntaf o’r UD yn mynd i Fietnam
1967 Martin Luther King yn cefnogi’r ymgyrch yn erbyn y rhyfel
1968 Ethol Richard M Nixon yn Arlywydd UDA
1968 Llofruddio Martin Luther King
1968 Y Cenhedloedd Unedig yn cymeradwyo Cytundeb Anymlediad
Arfau Niwcliar
1969 Gofodwyr Americanaidd yn glanio ar y Lleuad
1972 Nixon yn cael ei ail-ethol yn Arlywydd. Yr Arlywydd
Americanaidd cyntaf i ymweld â Tseina
1972 Sgandal Watergate
1973 Milwyr UDA yn tynnu allan o Fietnam
1974 Yr Arlywydd Nixon yn ymddiswyddo wrth wynebu uchel-
gyhuddiad
1975 Rhyfel Fietnam yn dod i ben
1977 Steve Biko yn marw yn y ddalfa yn Ne Affrica
1979 Margaret Thatcher yn Brif Weinidog y DU
1982 Rhyfel y Malfinas
1983 Ail-ethol Margaret Thatcher
1984 Streic y Glowyr. Cau 83 glofa yn ystod y 6 blynedd olynol
1986 Trychineb Chernobyl yn yr Wcrain
1987 Ethol Margaret Thatcher i’w thrydydd tymor a chreu hanes
1989 Dymchwel Wal Berlin a diwedd y Rhyfel Oer
1990 Margaret Thatcher yn ymddiswyddo
1990 Dwyrain a Gorllewin yr Almaen yn uno i greu un Almaen
1990 Nelson Mandela’n cael ei ryddhau o’r carchar
1991 Nelson Mandela’n cael ei ethol yn Arlywydd yr ANC
1991 Rhyfel Slofenia
1991 Rhyfel yn Croatia
1992 Rhyfel yn Bosnia Herzegovina rhwng Moslemiaid Bosnia,
Croatiaid a Serbiaid
1994 Adroddiad yn datgan i Steve Biko dderbyn anafiadau tra yn y
ddalfa yn Ne Affrica
1994 Nixon yn marw yn Efrog Newydd
1995 Rhyfel yn Croatia
1995 Rhyfel Bosnia yn dod i ben. 2.5 miliwn o ffoaduriaid
1996 Y Cenhedloedd Unedig yn cymeradwyo Cytundeb yn Gwahardd
Arbrofi Niwcliar
1996 Paul Peter Piech yn marw yng Nghaerdydd

Canolfan Argraffu Rhanbarthol
Prosiect ar y cyd rhwng Coleg Iâl Wrecsam a Chyngor Celfyddydau Cymru yw’r Ganolfan Argraffu Ranbarthol. Ers 2002 y mae’r Ganolfan wedi bod yn cynnig mynediad agored i gyfleusterau argraffu i artistiaid a dylunwyr o bob rhan o Gymru a thu hwnt. Y mae’r Ganolfan hefyd yn cynnig datblygu proffesiynol, sgyrsiau, gweithdai, arddangosiadau, cyrsiau ac arddangosfeydd i’r cyhoedd yn gyffredinol.

Cydnabyddiaethau: Diolch i Olwen Stocker, Cen Williams, Luci Melegari, Jim Creed a’r staff yng Ngholeg Iâl a Chyngor Celfyddydau Cymru

canolfanargraffu@yale-wrexham.ac.uk
Canolfan Argraffu Ranbarthol
Coleg Iâl
Ffordd Grove Park
Wrecsam
LL12 7AA
01978 311794 est 2286
Hawlfraint testun Steffan Jones-Hughes 2006 Hawlfraint Delweddau Eiddo Paul Peter Piech. Ffotograffi gan Rob Meighen 2006
ISBN 0-9553031-1-7
978-0-9553031-1-1

logos Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru, Coleg Iâl a’r Ganolfan Argraffu Ranbarthol


28 Responses to “Paul Peter Piech”

  1. 1 Christopher Bent

    Paul was one of my tutors at Leicester Polytechnic back in the late 60′s. His passion for his art and the power of his image making together with his larger than life character made a massive impression that has lasted.
    It was a joy to see his work again. I was researching for a lecture relating to creative typography connected to the module that I run as a part time lecturer at De Montfort University in Leicester.

    I will be bringing Paul’s work to the attention of another generation of young Graphic Designers.

  2. Love these prints, very inspiring, thanks.

  3. 5 Phil Reedy

    Paul taught me at Middlesex Poly. He was always full of good advice and enthusiasm but never led you. I was unfortunately too young to fully appreciate what he had to offer at the time.

  4. 6 GARETH Roberts

    Annwyl Steffan,
    Your email is very poingiant for me, because Paul was a tutor of mine at what is currently DE MONTFORD UNIVERSITY.
    Amasingly, years later we met again when I became a member of staff at UWIC, csad . He retired to Porthcawl, where his wife was origanilly from.he taught part time on our printing dept with TOM Piper
    Paul was a great inspiration to all his students , and like all teachers of ART ;ESPECIALLY FROM THE 70′S was a solid , honest, caring , socialist.
    These were great tmes, I WAS A STUDENT AT Leicester from 1969 to 1974.
    I AM PRIEVALGED TO HAVE MET HIM and many like him.
    THE WORLD HAS NOW CHANGED AND THERE WILL BE NOTHING, YES NOTHING THAT , the new world respects or understands LIKE THOSE TIMES.BUT GRATEFULL OF THOSE GREAT TIMES. I had not just with PAUL AND OTHER GREAT TEACHERS, ETC ETC.

    GARETH Roberts – Senior lecturer. CARDIFF SCHOOL OF Art

    • 7 steffanjoneshughes

      Annwyl Gareth,
      Thank you very much for your comment. Paul continues to be an inspiration to us all.
      Dymuniadau gorau,
      Steffan

    • 8 Christopher Bent

      Dear Gareth
      I am sure that we were at Leicester on the Graphics course at the same time? Like you I teach now. I am at De Montfort in Leicester. I work in the Graphics department teaching Motion Graphics. I worked in Television for many years after leaving Leicester in around 71 if my memory serves me well. It was a joy to see Peter’s work again on this site. I share your thoughts for these changing times and values but we are the richer I am sure for our experience and so lucky to have shared some time with Paul.

      Kind Regards
      Chris Bent- Part Time Lecturer De Montfort University Leicester.

  5. 9 Phyl Griffiths

    Annwyl Steffan
    I run a Welsh bookshop in Merthyr Tudful and have inherited a Piech print (signed 1988) depicting a hand/dove with the word ‘Peace’ above and ‘Heddwch’ below. I have no intention of selling but would welcome any information you may have.
    Edrychaf ymlaen i glywed gennych
    Diolch yn fawr
    Phyl Griffiths

  6. 10 Pam newall

    Thankyou for posting this.

  7. 11 deb walker

    I have a number of signed and dated prints, recently found in my fathers attic. I would like to be contacted, not sure of worth, or someones desire to own them. Will be taking them to a local gallery but found this website, thought I would see what response i recieved. Thank-you

    • 12 steffanjoneshughes

      I would depend on the condition of the pieces, which ones you have, etc. There are people out there who collect Piech’s work.

      • 13 deb walker

        Thank you for getting back to me. All are in prefect condition except one piece. If you could direct me in the best direction to contact someone or the next step I could take. I want to hold on to a couple, but the rest I would like others to be able to enjoy. Thanks again.

    • 14 Peter Black

      Hi

      Have you any of his brilliant Walt Whitman ones?

      Peter

      • 15 steffanjoneshughes

        There are quite a few beautiful Walt Whitman text / images in the archive.

  8. 16 kevin

    hi there ,
    I did some work for peter at his home in porthcawl during the early 90′s, peter kindly made me a one off red dragon with the national anthym worded in english underneath, its signed and dated by paul and is in fantastic condition, i will be placing the print on e bay in one weeks time if anyone would like to make a bid before then your more than welcome to send me an e mail

  9. I’d love to see a monograph someday on Piech’s work. Hopefully it could accompany the exhibition you’re talking about. There’s such an immediate and raw intensity to his images.

  10. We have a lovely print here at Oriel Myrddin Gallery – I’ll send you an image…

  11. Excellent article Steffan

  12. 23 Theresa

    Hi Steffan

    I have many Paul Peter Piech signed posters. I would be interested in contacting you about them.

    Regards,
    Theresa

  13. 25 Anne Finlay-Baird

    I would love to own a Paul Piech print especially Tyger Tyger. Or the Gandhi poster. Does anyone know if they are available and if so where I could find them?
    Thanks
    Anne

  14. I was taught by Paul at Watford college of Art in the early 80′s, he was an inspiration and passed on his great lino skills. I have a small collection of his peices and as a working artist, now, I feel very honoured to say I was a pupil of his. Glynnis Abraham

  15. I noticed a book is coming out on PPP in early October, 2013!!!


  1. 1 The Private Press of Paul Piech – Part 2 of 2 | Retro Graphic Design +

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