Saul Steinberg

At left:
The New Yorker cover
of July 4, 1964 is in
the show as The American
Sphinx, 23 x 14.5.
John Updike notes
"a catlike sphinx labeled
Vox Populi" delivering
"a rebus in a talk balloon
where a flag, a heart, a snake,
a pair of scales, a harp,
a handshake, and a cornucopia
add up to a mystical distillation
of Americana..."

Below right is Riverhead Duck,
1986, 20 x 15. Dr. Marco Frascari,
Penn's chairman of architecture,
has chosen the Steinberg exhibition
as the setting for a lecture on "Comic
Architecture" to be given on Monday,
November 20 at 5 p.m in the
Arthur Ross Gallery, co-sponsored
by the Gallery and the Department.
It is free and open to the public.

America was made to order for Steinberg.
--Harold Rosenberg, quoted in Jean Leymarie's Appreciation in the catalog for the current show.

Like Vladimir Nabokov and Louis B. Mayer, Steinberg is a discoverer of the United States.
-- John Updike in the catalog's Introduction.

The Romanian-born Saul Steinberg embraced America, as the collectors Sivia and Jeffrey Loria told visitors at last month's opening--its icons and slogans, its dark side and its comic spirit. Mrs. Loria pointed to the contrast between Steinberg's free and exuberant civic visions and the one work in the show (not reproduced here) that dates from his life in Romania.

Steinberg's most famous composition,
A View of the World from Ninth Avenue,
was The New Yorker cover of March 29, 1976.
This is a bird's-eye view of the city from
Ninth Avenue in a straight line westward,
with space becoming ever more condensed,
and leading, according to American
imagination, to Asia. --Jean Leymarie

The tongue-in-cheek "view of the world"
that Steinberg invented has been copied
by cities, states and nations throughout
the world, often in post-card size. But
the real thing, at 28 x19, stands head and
shoulders above them all. In the show are
three small sketches and two other
full-size versions of the map.


Tuesday, November 7, 1995
Volume 42 Number 11

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