Peter Saul – Recent Paintings (2006)

Art, Books — Doctor Ninja on December 23, 2006 at 8:00 pm

To the Viewer:
“I like to walk around N.Y. to see the art shows, particularly of pictures of something dramatic or exciting. That’s my art taste. Even though I love viewing the stuff the ideas that prop up Modern Art are the dumbest in the world. Especially the notion that painting is about itself and the way it’s made. Sure, try reading a book about itself, or going to a movie about itself, not a lot of fun.”

That’s from Peter Saul’s introduction to the catalog of his recent exhibitions at David Nolan Gallery and Leo Koenig Gallery. I couldn’t agree more with his sentiment. The 90’s art scene in NY made me want to puke. Everything was “conceptual”. Conceptual meaning that you had to read a book about it before you could enjoy it. Did I say, “Enjoy it”? What I meant to say was “before you could be bored to death by it”. 10 years later things are brightening up here. Art is exciting again.

Forget the last decade, Peter Saul has been exciting for the last 55 years. His new paintings are as fresh and invigorating as they were in the sixties. They’re colorful, cartoony, surreal, sentimental portraits of politics, propaganda, and pornography. My favorites include “Around Here You Need a Sense of Humor”, “Execution of Jesus”, “Bush at Abu Ghraib”, “Chinese Businessman Lands on Wall St.”, “Sardanapalus”, “Hitler’s Bunker” and “Self Portrait as a Woman”, a true story about Peter & his wife being mistaken for two women, on four different occasions!!! Hmmm. That makes 7 out of 10 paintings my favorite. The other three are great too.

This is a beautiful catalog with ten tipped-in color plates. That’s old school quality for an O.G. artist. Soft cover, 34 pages, available from www.davidnolangallery.com and www.leokoenig.com

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