Inspired to a creative breakthrough by a copy of MAD magazine, promoted by the Surrealist Roberto Matta, and discovered in Paris, American artist Peter Saul, born 1934 in San Francisco, has created often difficult, funny, and trenchant works—“sick jokes” according to Robert Storr. Presaging Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley and exerting noticeable influence on artists such as Barry McGee and Ed Templeton, Saul’s works are long overdue for a more in-depth reevaluation.
This publication provides the first comprehensive overview of five decades of Peter Saul’s paintings. It features numerous works from the early sixties to the present, including several “icebox” paintings, some of his epic historical canvases, and his homages to Thomas Hart Benton. The painter’s works poke fun at the art world’s “sacred cows,” painfully demonstrate the multiple psychic hazards of being an aging American male, and address current political affairs.
It accompanies the exhibition presented at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, June 22–September 21, 2008 and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, October 18, 2008–January 4, 2009.
Texts by Dan Cameron, Michael Duncan, and Robert Storr.
Published by Hatje Cantz and the Orange County Museum of Art, 2008, hardcover with jacket, 160 pages, 11.25 x 9.85 inches.