Peter Saul

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Peter Saul at Kunsthalle Emden

Peter Saul at Kunsthalle Emden

19 November 2017 to 27 May 2018

Included in group exhibition The American Dream: American Realism 1945-2017 at the Kunsthalle Emden, Emden, Germany.

The double exhibition, which will take place parallel in the Drents Museum Assen (NL) and in the Kunsthalle Emden, presents American realism from 1945 to the present, including works by Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, Alice Neel, Richard Diebenkorn, Martha Rosler, Alex Katz and Chuck Close. It is the first great overview exhibition on American realism in Europe. The Drents Museum focuses on art from 1945 to 1965, while the Kunsthalle Emden focuses on the period from 1965 to the present.

After the Second World War, the abstraction of the New York School and subsequent generations of artists symbolizes the re-emergence and an apparent de-ideologization of art in the USA. This abstraction, supported by influential art critics, is opposed to American realism, which developed parallel to it. The various currents and artistic positions of American realism play a part in the development of American art, which is only partly appreciated by the art world. They show, for example, the real living conditions of the Americans, represent societal criticism and political positions, and focus on the human figure and human existence in the USA.

Peter Saul at Deichtorhallen Hamburg

Peter Saul at Deichtorhallen Hamburg

30 September 2017 to 28 January 2018

Solo exhibition at Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.

From 30 September 2017 to 28 January 2018, Deichtorhallen Hamburg is presenting an extensive survey exhibition of the work of the American painter PETER SAUL (*1934 in San Francisco, California) at the Falckenberg Collection. The exhibition will show some sixty works by this hitherto little noticed “artists’ artist”, including groundbreaking series such as his Ice Box Paintings, his comics narratives and Vietnam paintings from the 1950s and 1960s, as well as never-before-exhibited drawings and selected late works from the 1980s to the 2000s...

Peter Saul in NYR Daily

Peter Saul in NYR Daily

27 September 2017

Review by J. Hoberman A Carnival of Desecration in NYR Daily.

With his imposing paunch, outsized neckties, and pompadour as pointy as Woody Woodpecker’s beak, Donald Trump has the most recognizable profile of any American president since Richard Nixon. Yet, as a cartoonist of my acquaintance has complained, artists are having a hard time caricaturing Trump, mostly likely because he already is a caricature—one reflected in mass culture’s fun-house mirror for close to forty years.

We’re sick of Trump and we’re sick of being sick of him. Well-populated by images of the president, Peter Saul’s new show “Fake News,” at Mary Boone Gallery through October 28, is hardly a palliative, but it does illustrate the crass absurdity of the current moment. [...]Saul, now eighty-three, has been categorized as a political pop artist and a proto-punk neo-surrealist, although he has as much in common with the grotesque Mad magazine cartoonist Basil Wolverton as with any American painters. He’s done Nixon and Reagan (both as governor and president) as well as George W. With candy colors placed in the service of gross physical distortion and blandly offensive savagery—crucifixions are common, the electric chair is a frequent prop—his unnaturally festive work would scarcely seem out of place on the wall of a Venice Beach tattoo emporium. “Not to be shocking means to agree to be furniture,” he once said. Still, Saul’s portraits of Trump are relatively naturalistic—though the impossible settings in which the president is placed are not...

Peter Saul on HYPERALLERGIC.COM

Peter Saul on HYPERALLERGIC.COM

17 September 2017

Article by John Yau Peter Saul Knows What to Do with the President and a Hamburger on HYPERALLERGIC.COM.

Madcap Peter Saul is our William Hogarth, Honoré Daumier, Hieronymus Bosch, and Basil Wolverton rolled into one glorious, outrageous, nutty, rambunctious painter. Some artists get the honor of having their work displayed in the White House, but chances are Saul will never be one of them, no matter who the occupant is. You know he deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but will never get it.

Saul’s recurring subject is pain and abuse of all kinds — what we inflict on others and do to ourselves. It seems that the only way he can embrace these often monstrous subjects, and whatever they stir up in him, is with scandalous humor. This is why such distinctions as tasteful and tasteless seem beside the point when looking at and thinking about Saul’s garish work, which is just one reason why he is such an important artist. He also happens to be an amazing colorist and terrific caricaturist. More than socially conscious, he is a formally inventive artist with a deep love for toppling sacred cows and pushing everyone’s buttons. In his hands, painting and paint become a platform for preposterous visual proposals...

Peter Saul at the Met Breuer

Peter Saul at the Met Breuer

13 September 2017 to 14 January 2018

Included in group show Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950-1985 at the Met Breuer, NYC, NY.

Delirious times demand delirious art, or so this exhibition proposes. The years between 1950 and 1980 were beset by upheaval. Around the globe, military conflict proliferated and social and political unrest flared. Disenchantment with an oppressive rationalism mounted, as did a corollary interest in fantastic, hallucinatory experiences. Artists responded to these developments by incorporating absurdity, disorder, nonsense, disorientation, and repetition into their work. In the process, they destabilize space and perception, give form to extreme mental, emotional, and physical states, and derange otherwise logical structures and techniques. Delirious explores the embrace of irrationality among American, Latin American, and European artists...

Peter Saul at Schirn Kunsthalle

Peter Saul at Schirn Kunsthalle

2 June to 3 September 2017

Solo exhibition at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany.

Peter Saul delib­er­ately broke the rules of good taste long before “Bad Painting” became a central focus of contem­po­rary art. Working with his own unique language begin­ning in the late 1950s, the Amer­ican painter devel­oped a blend of Pop Art, Surre­alism, Abstract Expres­sionism, San Fran­cisco Funk, and cartoon culture in which he addressed social and polit­ical issues. Saul shared Pop Art’s focus on the common­place, consumer society, and the light­hearted imagery of comics and clothed it in appealing, radiant colors. Yet his art is also asso­ci­ated with the aesthetic strate­gies of Cali­fornia coun­ter­cul­ture. Viewers are confronted with an almost angry style of painting when Saul addresses the dark side of the Amer­ican Dream, revealing the simul­taneity of exag­ger­ated humor and playful yet harsh crit­i­cism of the prevailing system. Wit, slap­stick, word plays, comedy, satire, and often earthy humor are the means he employs in his cari­ca­ture-style attacks on Amer­ican high culture. The Schirn Kunsthalle Frank­furt is presenting the first compre­hen­sive survey of the previ­ously neglected oeuvre of this great “artist’s artist” in Europe.

Peter Saul at The Brant Foundation Art Study Center

Peter Saul at The Brant Foundation Art Study Center

14 May to 15 September 2017

Included in group exhibition Animal Farm at The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut.

Animal Farm is a show of works revolving around this sense of spiritual dislocation and eternal return. Since the advent of print displaced its representational function, fine art has existed as a history of perverted exchanges between subcultures and mass media. Mickey becomes Andy; Andy becomes a bright t-shirt. A selection of works by Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Jean Michel Basquiat, Katherine Bernhardt, Tyson Reeder, Joe Bradley, Chris Martin, Sarah Braman and many others, sketch a story that slides from figurative iconography to totemic abstraction, charting a world in churn; in print, in space, and on canvas. Animal Farm reminds us that color is as material as culture, and that fantasy has long been a way to resist: identity, oppression, boredom. Freak out, or don’t...

Hilary Harkness, Peter Saul on ARTNET.COM

Hilary Harkness, Peter Saul on ARTNET.COM

31 January 2017

Review by Laura van Straaten A Generational Battle of Subversive Wit at Tribeca's "Piss and Vinegar" on ARTNET.COM.

“Piss and Vinegar: Two Generations of Provocateurs,” now showing at the New York Academy of Art in Tribeca, is totally worth it, even if just for one artwork: a painting by artist Hilary Harkness.

First, the show. The exhibition aims to contrast an earlier generation of artists who use shock in their work with a younger generation of contemporary artists who use shock to different ends. As the show was being assembled, the curators realized the older generation was all men and the second, all women...

Hilary Harkness, Peter Saul at the New York Academy of Art

Hilary Harkness, Peter Saul at the New York Academy of Art

19 January to 5 March 2017

Included in group exhibition Piss and Vinegar at the New York Academy of Art, NYC, NY.

Curated by Peter Drake, Dean of the Academy, and gallerist George Adams, Piss and Vinegar unites two generations of provocateurs: five men who came of age in the 1960s and five contemporary female artists. Robert Arneson, Robert Colescott, R. Crumb, Peter Saul, and Robert Williams, whose satirical, sarcastic prints and paintings demonstrate influences from psychedelia to MAD Magazine, will be shown with Nina Chanel Abney, Sue Coe, Nicole Eisenman, Natalie Frank, and Hilary Harkness, whose work explores the same subversive wit and dark, maniacal spirit. Each artist moreover brings to the table serious technical skill and art historical fluency, in the service of pushing the boundaries of “good taste.” No one subject or affiliation unites the two groups, but the exhibition particularly highlights the choice these artists made to pursue uncomfortable and ostensibly unpopular themes, and to risk having their work called vulgar or grotesque...

Peter Saul at Michael Werner Gallery

Peter Saul at Michael Werner Gallery

23 September to 12 November 2016

Solo Exhibition Some Terrible Problems at Michael Werner Gallery, London, England.

In 1967, Saul said, “Not to be shocking means to agree to be furniture”. This statement outlines the exceptional attitude with which Saul gleefully skewers the conventions of world politics and culture. “Pictures with problems” are Peter Saul’s abiding interest. Some Terrible Problems features seven new large-scale canvases, each dissecting to humorous, gruesome and often offensive effect a range of subjects and attitudes. These remarkable new works revisit genres of history painting and portraiture while remaining thoroughly contemporary and visually unlike anything else in recent painting...

Peter Saul at Sheldon Museum of Art

Peter Saul at Sheldon Museum of Art

6 May to 31 July 2016

Included in group exhibition It Was Never Linear: Recent Painting at the Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, Nebraska.

This summer, Sheldon Museum of Art will celebrate abstraction in contemporary painting. Twelve artists have been invited to participate in It Was Never Linear, an exhibition of recent paintings and drawings. Each of the selected works demonstrates a primacy of the act of painting—gestural mark making and attention to surface materiality—over any true representation of form or figure. The participating artists span generations and include Robert Bordo, JoAnne Carson, Dawn Clements, Lois Dodd, Michelle Grabner, Josephine Halvorson, Loren Munk, Joyce Pensato, Colin Prahl, Peter Saul, Barbara Takenaga, and Stanley Whitney.

Peter Saul at Musée d’Art Contemporain

Peter Saul at Musée d’Art Contemporain

8 April 2016 to 10 January 2017

Included in group exhibition Zoo Machine at the Musée d’Art Contemporain, Marseille, France.

Peter Saul at Gary Tatintsian Gallery

Peter Saul at Gary Tatintsian Gallery

22 March to 31 August 2016

Solo exhibition You Better Call Saul! at Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

Peter Saul has been deemed the father of Pop Art and a successor to Surrealism. He is one of the most important artists of our time and a consistent “violator of good taste” in art. 
He is the founder of the unique style of Bad Painting, which is characterized by a bright palette of colors and exaggerated distortion of images – a jubilant depiction of lawlessness and violence in society, which the artist sarcastically criticizes through his “indictments”...

Peter Saul in the The New York Observer

Peter Saul in the The New York Observer

9 December 2015

Article by Ryan Steadman Peter Saul & Mary: a Classic Gallery Champions an Old-School Artist in The New York Observer online.

Life is long. Just ask Peter Saul and Mary Boone. Combined they have more lives than a crazy cat lady’s Alphabet City apartment can hold, but they’ve each learned from their mistakes—and their successes. The pairing seemed almost inevitable: the glamorous dealer who launched art stars with big dreams and a healthy disrespect for decorum (like Julian Schnabel and Jean-Michel Basquiat), and the ultimate outsider painter who stubbornly fought off categorization...

Peter Saul at the National Centre for Contemporary Arts

Peter Saul at the National Centre for Contemporary Arts

2 December 2015 to 20 March 2016

Included in group exhibition Mystifiers at the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow, Russia.

The Mystifiers exhibition at NCCA is built on the representation of a select series of works by different generation artists, whose art is characterized by the transformation of reality and creation of models of the non-existent. Demonstrating the mutations of the contemporary world, artists underline the importance of the legacy of the main 20th century trends – Dadaism, surrealism, conceptualism, simulationism – for art practices in the 21st century. By using various art techniques, the art works presented in this project immerse the viewer in a surreal space of fantasy illusions, wonderful or terrible dreams, imaginary worlds and other-worldly “civilizations”...

Peter Saul in Tablet Magazine

Peter Saul in Tablet Magazine

December 2015

Article by Jeremy Sigler Peter Saul Sabotages Everything, Including Himself in Tablet Magazine.

Imagine a painter who shoots himself in the foot and then puts his foot in his mouth. That's how I'd sum up Peter Saul. His paintings are always the opposite of whatever is considered to be right. And they continue to earn him a reputation as one of the most brutally honest storytellers in postwar, comic-influenced American painting...

KAWS, Peter Saul at Gary Tatintsian Gallery

KAWS, Peter Saul at Gary Tatintsian Gallery

27 November 2015 to 2 March 2016

Included in group exhibition Mutated Reality at Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

Art confuses the subject with the predicate and gets lost in the moment when something needs to be expressed triumphantly. Belief in the co-existence of the painting and man in a common dimension ceases. We, however, still believe in something. For example, we believe in the inevitability of mutations, improvements, and instability since the role of such transformations was recognized as a great science. The artists in “Mutated Reality” mix and stir nostalgia for the past with an unappealing present that is ready to burn any flesh to ashes and vice versa...

Peter Saul in Hyperallergic.com

Peter Saul in Hyperallergic.com

22 November 2015

Article by John Yau The Necessary Insolence of Peter Saul on Hyperallergic.com.

Peter Saul has an uncanny ability to seamlessly combine the hilarious and the hideous to great effect. In the middle of chortling at one of his wacky, indecorous paintings, you are apt to suddenly notice an odd and even disturbing detail. Saul may come off as a jaunty humorist, but beneath this jolly lighthearted veneer seethes a volcano of well-honed gripes, peeves, impertinence, skepticism, and outrage, none of which are petty. His ability to transform fervent indignation into comical absurdity is amply evident when he takes on masterworks of French academic painting, as he does in his recent exhibition, Peter Saul: Six Classics, at Mary Boone...

Peter Saul at MoMA PS1

Peter Saul at MoMA PS1

11 October 2015 to 7 March 2016

Included in group exhibition Greater New York at MoMA PS1 Long Island City, New York.

MoMA PS1 presents the fourth iteration of its landmark exhibition series, begun as a collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art in 2000. Recurring every five years, the exhibition has traditionally showcased the work of emerging artists living and working in the New York metropolitan area. Greater New York arrives in a city and art community that has changed significantly since the first version of the survey. With the rise of a robust commercial art market and the proliferation of art fairs, opportunities for younger artists in the city have grown alongside a burgeoning interest in artists who may have been overlooked in the art histories of their time...

Peter Saul at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Peter Saul at the Whitney Museum of American Art

1 May to 27 September 2015

Included in the inaugural group exhibition America Is Hard To See at the new building of the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, NY.

Drawn entirely from the Whitney Museum of American Art’s collection, America Is Hard to See takes the inauguration of the Museum’s new building as an opportunity to reexamine the history of art in the United States from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. Comprising more than six hundred works, the exhibition elaborates the themes, ideas, beliefs, and passions that have galvanized American artists in their struggle to work within and against established conventions, often directly engaging their political and social contexts. Numerous pieces that have rarely, if ever, been shown appear alongside beloved icons in a conscious effort to unsettle assumptions about the American art canon...