R
di Rosa
Napa
Image rights
Courtesy of di Rosa collection, Napa. Photo: Israel Valencia

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.

Blue chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Coleccion SOLO
Selected exhibitions
2021
Parallel Phenomena: Works on Paper by Carroll Dunham, Susan Te Kahurangi King, Gladys Nilsson and Peter SaulAndrew Edlin Gallery
2018
Peter Saul: Prints | 1966–2017Pace Prints
2017
Piss and VinegarNew York Academy of Art
View all

Relax in Electric Chair (Dirty Guy), 1965

Styrofoam, fiberglass, and plastic enamel
55 × 24 × 42 in
139.7 × 61 × 106.7 cm
Permanent collection
Location
Napa
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R
di Rosa
Napa
Image rights
Courtesy of di Rosa collection, Napa. Photo: Israel Valencia

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.

Blue chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Coleccion SOLO
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works by Peter Saul
Related works
Related artists