At ArtPace, Saul has brought together a survey of work from the 1960s through the 1990s, including works from private collections in Dallas and San Antonio. This focused exhibit offers a glimpse of Saul’s investigations of kinetic forms and bright, bold colors and his examination of art history, pop culture and violence. Throughout his career, Saul’s oeuvre is marked by its stylized, cartoon-like imagery. Early works include Icebox (1963) and Killer (1964), oil paintings notable for their confident graphic forms and dynamic colors. The exhibit presents Clemunteena Gweenberg (1971), a satirical portrait of the controversial art critic Clement Greenberg, and the politically charged Ethel Rosenberg in the Electric Chair (1989), works emblematic of his thematic investigations throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The epic painting Last Judgement (1993) demonstrates Saul’s interest in challenging taboo subjects, raising issues of religion, institutions, and historical perspective. Also included in the exhibit is the recent painting Still Life (1996), which is anything but—a chaotic arrangement of objects in motion, a dizzying palate of colors and tones, and slick, masterful brushstroke.
Peter Saul’s work fits squarely in the contemporary cannon of painting, in which a combination of challenging visual elements collide with relevant social content. Saul’s vision is exceptionally unique—controversial, humorous, political, personal, historical and above all, visual. A survey of Saul’s paintings provides the viewer with a point of reference for the complexity and commitment of a veteran artists’ career.