Peter Saul (1934, San Francisco, USA). Lives and works in New York.
Peter Saul is considered as one of the fathers of Pop Art and a successor to Surrealism. He is known for his colorful and cartoonish paintings which satirize American culture. Saul can also be described as one of the most important points of origin of a lively political incorrectness that has flourished in USA under artists as diverse as Sue Williams, Kara Walker, Robert Melee and Carroll Dunham.
Merging ideas central to Surrealism and Pop Art, Saul’s works are at once authoritative and powerful, though they often employ an attenuated caricature of mundane objects.
If we think about behavior as the way in which natural phenomenon function and how humans act in response to situations or stimuli, then human nature in Saul’s works takes the form of satire, irony, and bad taste seen through acrid color and gesture.
His use of childlike marks and clashing colors are meant to both disturb and engage the viewer. And yet, despite the display of pictorial irreverence, the paintings are grounded in working knowledge of art history, laying the foundation for sophisticated and powerful dialogues between stylistic formal considerations, political ideas, and autobiographical detail.
Saul continues to shock viewer with his complex compositions, grotesque imagery, and controversial takes on subjects ranging from Donald Duck to O. J. Simpson. His manipulation of forms is both fluid and sculptural: a wildly imaginative synthesis of Salvador Dali’s melting and rubbery forms and Willem de Kooning’s savagely comic, figural distortions.
Works by Peter Saul are found in the collections of leading museums around the world including: Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago), Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA, Los Angeles), Museum Ludwig (Köln), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam) and Museum of Modern Art (MoMA, New York).