Peter Saul, Ronald Reagan in Grenada, 1984. Acrylic on canvas, 82 1/2 x 71 in. Hall Collection, Courtesy Hall Art Foundation. Photo: Jeffrey Nintzel.
It seems crazy to think that this is the first NYC museum survey for Peter Saul, who has influenced a generation of contemporary artists. For many, Peter Saul is a gateway drug. His pop-oriented canvases and distorted Surrealism were so far ahead of their time that he defied a particular category or movement. The artist, who was born in San Francisco in 1934 but painted everywhere, from Paris to California to NYC, has embraced counter-culture moments that range from the Vietnam War, the Reagan and Bush years, to the current Trump era we now endure. Much like our own founder, Robert Williams, Saul has pushed the boundaries of salacious profanity. “I have suffered for my vulgar art style,” Saul said in a 2008 interview. “It’s my misfortune to not have realized art is supposed to be about how it’s made.” Peter Saul: Crime and Punishment will feature over 60 paintings at the abidingly progressive New Museum in NYC. That Saul has energized a younger group of painters like KAWS, Erik Parker and Jonas Wood, who each have championed his work, stokes Saul’s influence across both coasts. As the museum notes, “The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue co-published with Phaidon Press, featuring new contributions from Robert Cozzolino, Matthew Israel, Dan Nadel, Nicole Rudick, and John C. Welchman, and interviews with Peter Saul and Thomas Crow.”
Don't miss a special event featuring Peter Saul in conversation with Massimiliano Gioni at the New Museum on February 27, 2020. Get tickets HERE.