Saul Steinberg: Illuminations
When: November 2, 2007 - February 24, 2008
About the ShowAn artist whose magic lit up the pages and covers of The New Yorker is the subject of a traveling retrospective organized by the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. Saul Steinberg: Illuminations offers a first-ever full-scale career survey of Steinberg (1914-99) whom many in the art world regard as not only a comic genius but among the greatest draftsmen of the modern era. The exhibition combines drawings, rare printed matter, and sculptural assemblages from the artist’s private collection with major works from American and European collections. Having studied architecture in Milan, where he had gained early fame as a cartoonist, Steinberg arrived in New York in 1942 and became a propagandist, illustrator, fabric and card designer, muralist, fashion and advertising artist, stage designer, and tireless creator of image-jammed books. Until his decision in the 1960s to concentrate his efforts on gallery art and The New Yorker, Steinberg’s sleek, barbed, inventive line was seen – and mimicked – everywhere from highbrow journals to Christmas cards, doing much to disseminate the look of modernism to a popular Atomic-age audience.
This traveling retrospective exhibition was organized by Vassar College in cooperation with the Saul Steinberg Foundation and was curated by Joel Smith, author of the 2005 book Steinberg at the New Yorker. The exhibition, which is accompanied by a major monograph on the artist, opened at the Morgan Library in New York and traveled to the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Cincinnati Museum of Art before concluding at Vassar College.