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date: 16 May 2021

Saul, Peter locked

(b San Francisco, CA, Aug 16, 1934).
  • Morgan Falconer

Extract

(b San Francisco, CA, Aug 16, 1934).

American painter . He studied at California School of Art (1950–52) and Washington University School of Fine Art, St Louis, MO (1952–6). Following this he spent time in Holland, Paris, and Rome (1956–64). Saul acknowledged the influence of diverse figures in the fine arts, from Beckmann, Bacon, and Orozco to the Cubism of Picasso. However, following his brief flirtation with Abstract Expressionist idioms in the early 1960s, his painting took on a vigorous cartoon style that suggests more popular sources. By 1964 his forms had become monumental and his palette bright; his focus lay squarely on subject-matter and particularly on social criticism. Society (1964; see 1964 exh. cat.) is typical of this early stage in its depiction of various cartoon figures, including Superman, a dollar bill, and a teacup, clambering up a flight of stairs towards an ugly, crowned, and enthroned machine labelled ‘Society’. In other contemporaneous works the spatial composition is more complex, reflecting Saul’s interest in Cubism. In the late 1960s he began to concentrate on individual figures, often depicted in ill-defined space. These evolved into the portrait heads of the late 1980s and the 1990s: some speak words in speech bubbles, usually related to art, while the physiognomy of others is radically altered in the manner of Cubism. ...

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