Paul Peter Piech: Activist Prints from the 1970s and ‘80s
Ashley Utley, FAU BA Studio Arts, 2020 and University Galleries Museum Education Coordinator
Daniela Andrade, Art History Student and University Galleries Student Employee
W. Rod Faulds, University Galleries Director, Curatorial Advisor
Paul Peter Piech was a humanitarian, graphic designer, and a prolific printmaker. Most of his prints employ quotations from diverse, internationally renowned authors and activists of his time. His linocut prints were created with such fervor for the causes he illustrated that some even include misspellings. While he chose linoleum cut prints for its immediacy, it also demanded that all the text be carved backward. Piech was not concerned with his prints being perfect. He printed on cheap, readily available papers and was not very precious in his care of them, including leaving small black number stickers he used for sales and exhibitions. His prints were affordably created and sold for the purpose of spreading the message each print put forth.
Many of these messages live on in the 88 Piech prints in the art collection at FAU, from which 38 have been chosen for this exhibition. The issues Piech chose to address in these activist prints from the ‘70s and ‘80s continue to be relevant over 40 years later and resonate with conviction in the context of the health pandemic and social unrest that are being experienced globally.