Martina Weinhart, Richard Shiff, Peter Saul, Hamburg, 2017.
Softcover, 165 pp., color illustrations, 12 x 9.5 x 0.75 inches.
In the late 1950s a lone wolf began a concerted attack on America’s high culture. Long before ”Bad Painting” became a central concern of contemporary art, Peter Saul quite deliberately offended good taste. In his unmistakable vein the artist developed a crossover of Pop Art, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, San Francisco funk and cartoon culture in which he addressed political and social topics. He shared Pop Art’s interest in the banal, the consumer society and the cheerful imagery of comics in bright attractive colors.
Not least of all his work is also connected however with the aesthetic strategies of the counterculture in California. An almost angry painting is revealed when Saul explores the American dream. Here we find simultaneously over extravagant humor and playful yet harsh criticism of the system. For the first time in Europe the SCHIRN is presenting a comprehensive overview of this great ”artist‘s artist“, who has received too scant attention to date.