On the occasion of the next Nuit des Bains, Thursday 18 May 2017, Blondeau &Cie is presenting a selection of paintings by Peter Saul and John Tweddle made between the 1960s and the 1980s, under the title MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.
This exhibition echoes Political Corect, a show held at the gallery in 2008 which explored the theme of self-censorship around Martin Kippenberger’s slogan-like painting, Political Corect, with a group of mainly American artists including Chris Burden, Larry Clark, Mike Kelley, Edward Kienholz, Louise Lawler, Raymond Pettibon, Martha Rosler and Jim Shaw...
Through the work of Peter Saul and John Tweddle, two singular figures on the American scene who unite ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture in a free-for-all mix, Blondeau & Cie hopes to show the free spirit and vigorous culture of protest running through American art in the wake of the contestation movements whose cradle was the Berkeley campus in the 1960s.
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN speaks of an America where, in spite of violence and political turbulence, artists felt free and unafraid to express themselves about the excesses and abuses of American society. We hope that this freshness and irreverence will continue to inform American art and help carry this great country towards a new openness, so it continues to be a source of inspiration and freedom for the rest of the world.
Peter Saul, born 1934, lives and works in New York.
After taking course at the Department of Fine Arts at Washington University, Peter Saul continued art as an autodidact, staying in Europe and especially France until he returned to the US in 1963. There he began producing a singular body of work that broke with the then dominant tendencies of Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Ignoring taboos, Saul’s extravagant figurative painting grabbed hold of all kinds of subjects – economics, politics, psychology, sexuality, crime, art, history – to hold up an uncompromising mirror to American society. Although not recognised by many of his peers, Saul’s work has inspired such important figures as Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger and Jim Shaw, as well as many others in the generation of artists that followed.
Peter Saul will have a major retrospective at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, from 2 June to 3 September 2017.
John Tweddle, born 1938, lives and works in New Mexico.
John Tweddle grew up in the rural southern state of Kentucky. Introduced to the New York scene by the visionary and influential dealer Dick Bellamy, he left the city in the late 1970s, preferring to remain an outsider. The paintings in his show were made just before he left New York. These brightly coloured, large-format works display a variety of recurring motifs such as the dollar sign. The irregular shapes of the canvases evoke tapestries or the speech bubbles in comics. Breaking with the art and the market of the day, these paintings energetically and mockingly express the artist’s anger at a society governed by the diktats of consumerism and the world of finance.