Peter Saul

Cat. Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Sammlung Falckenberg/Deichtorhallen Hamburg

Exhibition catalogue, edited by Martina Weinhart
texts (German/English) by Martina Weinhart, Richard Shiff, Interview mit Peter Saul von Martina Weinhart
168 p with 100 coloured illustrations
300 x 240 mm, softcover with coloured edges

ISBN 978-3-86442-207-2

48,00 €

»I prefer a doomsday mood and I love to laugh at bad news«

It was arguably during the 1960s that painting got caught up in the loop of permanent rehash and constant transformation, which – in contrast to the hypothesis of progress – forms the working principle of postmodernism. Peter Saul (* 1934 in San Francisco) is one of the most important protagonists of this radical change that is often, and rather inaccurately, connected exclusively to the advent of Pop Art. With his painterly and graphic work, Peter Saul has created a complex amalgam of high and counterculture, combining comics, Pop, surrealism, and abstract expressionism with the radical (and in part quite trivial) social critique of the Haschrebellen (Hashish ­Rebels). As a matter of course, such a painter would have never been a champion of American troops in ­Vietnam, never a party-supporter of Reagan or Bush, but politically reducing his work to agitprop would mean overlooking the hedonistic impulse of a baroque compositional joy within his images. After publications on the work of the last few years in the USA, this first individual exhibition in Europe including this catalog, devised by Martina Weinhart and the Schirn, focuses on the work of the 1960s, as sex and crime, politics, drugs, karma and revolt first began to penetrate the world. Some of Saul's works, in their pastel tones, may be reminiscent of Philip Guston, the other great US painter of late glory. Asked about this, Peter Saul only said that Guston's paintings had never interested him; in his opinion they were too »softcore«. He thought his attitude towards the subject was too amusing and that personally he rather preferred a doomsday mood; he said, he loved to laugh at bad news.

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, June 2 – September 3, 2017
Deichtorhallen Hamburg/Sammlung Falckenberg, September 30, 2017 – January 28, 2018