NYC///ORIGINS OF STYLE///MUST SEE SHOW: PETER SAUL’S “NEW PAINTINGS” AT DAVID NOLAN GALLERY
The work of 74-year-old painter PETER SAUL reveals an artist whose vigor for wild Cartoon Expressionism remains undiminished by age. A pioneer of Pop Art who wears his pulp influences on his sleeve, Saul has created some of his finest modern work in this show of mostly large scale new paintings now on display at NYC’s venerable DAVID NOLAN GALLERY, all of which explode with the trademark color and humor inherent in all of the artist’s most memorable work. Rightfully, the paper of record has taken notice:
The irrepressible Peter Saul, now 74, continues his cheerfully acerbic, riotously goofy ways. The paintings in this entertaining show are made in Mr. Saul’s signature Pop-Surrealist cartoon style. With their rubbery, pneumatic forms neatly rendered with a spongy, semi-pointillist touch in glowing colors, they are like much-enlarged stills from a twisted animated film.
There are three different types of pictures: weirdly personal, violently political and insouciantly art historical. In “Viva la Difference,” a grinning bon vivant in pajamas with a martini in one hand wraps his arm around an amorphous blob that sprouts multiple breasts and is perforated by numerous vaginal orifices. (Talk about your male gaze!)
On the political front, there’s “Stalin & Mao,” in which the dictators are represented as giants punching the heads off enemy soldiers. As for art history, “Better Than de Kooning,” a translation of de Kooning’s “Woman” paintings from the 1950s into a picture of bulging, writhing, tubular forms, is visually captivating and amusingly Oedipal.
“Beckmann’s the Night” is based on a 1919 painting by Max Beckmann. In Mr. Saul’s version, a green maniac armed with a knife and a pistol attacks a naked blonde tied by her wrists to an overhead beam, while Beckmann himself licks the swollen foot of a half-naked man who hangs by the neck. A careening bullet rips through the flesh of the strung-up victims. Mr. Saul’s picture reminds us that few sights are more gripping to behold than scenes of horrific carnage.
—KEN JOHNSON, NYTimes
On display until May23rd, consider this a must-see show of the highest order. HAVE A LOOK:
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