Taxi, by Saul Steinberg

Romanian-born artist Saul Steinberg arrived in America in 1940, and began to record the life and times of the U.S. As a long-time institution at The New Yorker, Saul Steinberg once declared that his illustrations "masqueraded as cartoons". But coming to his work fresh, one would be hard-pressed to figure out which was the real thing and which was the masquerade.

Saul Steinberg's body of work is a thrilling argument for the utility and effectiveness of cartoon art. His work is a skillful, encyclopedic barrage of technique: deft simplification of line, making thematic points by wording with several perspectives within one drawing, even using progressive imagery to fashion narratives from a single picture, as in his geographical cartoons. On top of his mastery of comics' formal properties, a lot of Steinberg's work is terribly funny, and he exhibited a playfulness best seen in his utilization of methods more commonly found in other arts: automatic writing, paste-ups, and the appropriation of other artists' imagery.

Saul Steinberg was a strong influence on Bill Woodman, Lee Lorenz, Ronald SearleJijé, Wally Fawkes (Trog)Bob van den BornMaurice RosyJules Feiffer, Tomi UngererQuinoSinéJef Nys, Don MartinGal (Gerard Alsteens)Ever MeulenGerald ScarfeJean-Jacques SempéWindig & De JongJuan ColombresEver MeulenHugoké, JokePhilippe GeluckHerr SeeleLuc CromheeckeJean-Louis LejeuneRoman MuradovBenoîtSteveAndy SingerBecsEva HilhorstNico Visscher and Gé Wasco. Even when the Dutch poet Remco Campert at one point in his career drew comics and cartoons he took Steinberg as his great example. 

A View of the World from Ninth Avenue, 1976

Saul Steinberg collection

Series and books by Saul Steinberg you can order today:


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