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 Ronald SearleJijé, Wally Fawkes (Trog)Bob van den BornMaurice RosyJules Feiffer, Tomi UngererQuinoSinéJef Nys, Don MartinGalEver MeulenGerald ScarfeWindig & De JongJuan ColombresPhilippe GeluckLuc CromheeckeJean-Louis LejeuneBenoîtSteveAndy Singer 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 in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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