JOHN PIPER – Invention in Colour, 1937
Sheet size: 245 x 185 mm
Image size: 175 x 135 mm
Edition: Size of edition unknown; extremely scarce – Unsigned
Original lithograph by John Piper. Printed at the Curwen Press on Cylinder wove paper. This lithograph by Piper (described as a “drawing” in Signature) is a very complex print. Stephen Laird (who reproduces it on the front cover of his 2009 cata[ogue Twentieth Century British Lithographs) says it “was printed from a ‘mosaic’ of plates made from different materials, including line, paramat (a rubber sheeting which, when inked-up, was normally used to achieve large, flat areas of colour in advertising posters) and halftone (the plate medium normally used for the reproduction of the tonal parts of black and white photographs in books and newspapers). This is an experimental image which plays about with the technical possibilities of commercial lithography, and demonstrates Piper’s early mastery of the methods involved.” Orde Levinson in his catalogue raisonné, “Quality and Experiment”: The Prints of John Piper, describes it simply as “printed from paramat blocks cut by the artist”. It was Piper’s fourth lithograph. There is type on the reverse. Oliver Simon in Printer and Playground says that 444 copies of this issue of Signature were sold, but many fewer seem to have survived. Ref: Levinson 10. Condition: Excellent.