Peter Saul

American, b. 1934

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Peter Saul

American, b. 1934

2,514
Followers
Biography

A Pop art predecessor who helped pave the way to neo-Surrealism, Peter Saul is known for his luridly colored, contrarian depictions of popular culture and political history. In the 1950s and '60s, reacting against Abstract Expressionism's seriousness and influenced by Surrealist Roberto Matta, Saul began to paint everyday objects like iceboxes, steaks, and toilets in bright colors, along with political works like his series of graphic, cartoonish “Vietnam” paintings (1960s), which though had no clear moral message or political agenda, were evidently anti-Vietnam War. (“I want praise for my art, not for some political opinion I might have,” Saul has said.) Jumbling references like Mickey Mouse, Ethel Rosenberg, and Willem de Kooning, his work also includes darkly humorous self-portraits like Oedipus Junior (1983), in which the artist simultaneously pierces his eye with a paintbrush and castrates himself.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial, and 2 more
Biography

A Pop art predecessor who helped pave the way to neo-Surrealism, Peter Saul is known for his luridly colored, contrarian depictions of popular culture and political history. In the 1950s and '60s, reacting against Abstract Expressionism's seriousness and influenced by Surrealist Roberto Matta, Saul began to paint everyday objects like iceboxes, steaks, and toilets in bright colors, along with political works like his series of graphic, cartoonish “Vietnam” paintings (1960s), which though had no clear moral message or political agenda, were evidently anti-Vietnam War. (“I want praise for my art, not for some political opinion I might have,” Saul has said.) Jumbling references like Mickey Mouse, Ethel Rosenberg, and Willem de Kooning, his work also includes darkly humorous self-portraits like Oedipus Junior (1983), in which the artist simultaneously pierces his eye with a paintbrush and castrates himself.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial, and 2 more
Shows Featuring Peter Saul
Articles Featuring Peter Saul
How Contemporary Artists Have Used “Washington Crossing the Delaware” to Challenge History
Feb 14th, 2020
How to Thrive as a Creative Couple, according to Peter and Sally Saul
Jul 17th, 2018
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