New York Times Style Magazine
Artist's Questionnaire: Peter Saul Doesn't Want Any Advice
The painter — known for colorful, cartoony works that explore the depths of American depravity — is still pushing the boundaries, but enjoys quiet afternoons on his porch most of all.
Saul landed on just what he wanted to do around 1959, when he was living in Paris and selling copies of The Herald Tribune on the street, which he refers to as his last real job. He found Abstract Expressionism, the dominant American mode, too cerebral. Instead, he shaded toward realism, but only just, creating soft, flat, crowded compositions of cartoon steaks spilling out of iceboxes and rubbery superheroes with snaking limbs. He was lumped in with the Pop artists but bristled at the association. “As soon as I realized it existed, I wanted out of it because I felt that I was being used as a bad example,” he said. “I was rebellious."
Venus Over Manhattan
Peter Saul: New Paintings
Venus Over Manhattan and Michael Werner Gallery are pleased to announce a joint exhibition of new paintings and works on paper made by acclaimed artist by Peter Saul over the course of 2020 and 2021
The exhibition elaborates Saul’s longstanding critiques of official artistic movements and features archetypal characters in vivid paintings that highlight source materials and symbols familiar from his oeuvre. Saul’s new works here foreground his continued relevance as purveyor of a wholly unique, madcap vision, and testify to the outsized influence of his groundbreaking art.
Peter Saul: Crime and Punishment
Curated by Massimiliano Gioni and Gary Carrion-Murayari
The New Museum of Contemporaary Art
Marking the artist’s first New York museum survey, this exhibition will bring together approximately sixty paintings from across his long career.
The New York Times
Critics Pick: The Wild, Anti-Authoritarian Art of Peter Saul
The painter’s biting critiques shape his five-decade retrospective at the New Museum.
By Holland Cotter
Politically, 2020 has been, so far, a gonzo variety show of executive howlers and hissy fits; prayer breakfasts and Iowa pratfalls; split “victories” and revenge firings. The weirdness overload has almost seemed staged to distract from other American realities: migrant detention centers, corporate land grabs, climate catastrophe and the cruelties of poverty and racism. All of which makes the arrival at the New Museum of “Peter Saul: Crime and Punishment,” a critically acidic dirty bomb of a show, well-timed.
The New Yorker
The In-Your-Face Paintings of Peter Saul
His cartoony style and subjects exalt sensation as an end in itself.
By Peter Schjeldahl
Surprisingly, the timeliest as well as the rudest painting show of this winter, opening at the New Museum, happens to be the first New York museum survey ever of the American aesthetic rapscallion Peter Saul.
Peter Saul, "View of San Francisco," 1979. Acrylic on canvas; 67 1/2 x 131 in (170.7 x 332.7 cm).
Peter Saul, "Woman Artist Painting Three Pictures at Once," 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 in (152.4 x 152.4 cm)
Peter Saul, "Trust Me," 2020. Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 50 in (152.4 x 127 cm)
Peter Saul, "Worst Student in the Class," 2020. Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 in (152.5 x 122 cm)
Peter Saul, "New York Number 1," 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 96 in (182.9 x 243.8 cm)
Peter Saul, "New York Number 2," 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 96 in (182.9 x 243.8 cm)
Peter Saul, "Angry Horse," 2020. Acrylic, colored pencil on paper, 29 x 23 in (73.7 x 58.4 cm).
Peter Saul, "Bowl of Flowers with Insects," 2020. Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 84 inches (183 x 213.5 cm)
Peter Saul, "Sex Boat," 1961. Oil on canvas; 63 x 79 in (160 x 200.7 cm) PSAUL009
Peter Saul, "Superman in the Electric Chair," 1963. Oil on canvas; 63 x 79 in (160 x 200.7 cm) PSAUL009
Peter Saul, "Superman and Superdog in Jail," 1963. Oil on canvas; 75 x 63 in (190.5 x 160 cm) PSAUL008
Peter Saul, "Sex Deviate Being Executed," 1964. Oil on canvas; 79 x 52 in (200.7 x 132.1 cm) PSAUL022
Peter Saul, "G.I. Christ," 1967. Acrylic on canvas; 92 x 86 in (233.7 x 218.4 cm) PSAUL020
Peter Saul, "Target Practice," 1968. Acrylic on canvas; 92 1/2 x 99 1/2 in (235 x 252.7 cm) PSAUL017
Peter Saul, "Charm of Frisco," 1969. Mixed media on paper; 40 x 48 in (101.6 x 121.9 cm) PSAUL052
Peter Saul, "The Government of California," 1969. Acrylic on canvas; 68 x 96 in (172.7 x 243.8 cm) PSAUL025
Peter Saul was born in 1934 in San Francisco, California. He attended the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, and the Washington University School of Fine Arts in St. Louis. In 2020, the New Museum of Contemporary Art mounted "Peter Saul: Crime and Punishment," the first retrospective of Peter Saul's work in New York. In 2019, les Abattoirs, Toulouse presented "Peter Saul: Pop, Funk, Bad Painting, and More," a major retrospective of Saul's work, which traveled to Le Delta in Namur, Belgium. His work has been the subject of numerous international solo presentations, including recent exhibitions at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg; the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; the Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg; The Arnold and Marie Schwartz Gallery Met, Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, New York; and the Fondation Salomon Art Contemporain, Alex. In 2008, his work was the subject of a traveling retrospective curated by Dan Cameron, which opened at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, and traveled to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans. An earlier retrospective of his work opened at the Musée de l’Hôtel Bertrand, Dole, in 1999, and traveled to the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Mons. Saul’s work is frequently featured in major group exhibitions at institutions both stateside and abroad, including recent presentations at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville; The Met Breuer, New York; the Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln; Kunsthalle Emden; the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich; the New York Academy of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Musée d’Art Contemporain, Marseille; the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow; MoMA PS1, Long Island City; the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence; and the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus. His work is held in the permanent collections of numerous public institutions, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. In 1993, Saul received the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. In 2008, Saul received the Artist’s Foundation Legacy Award. In 2010, Saul was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Peter Saul lives and works in New York City and Germantown, New York.