Shane K discusses this month’s Virtual Gallery Feature Artist..
among my crimes against humanity,
I am the Visual Arts Director for the Kurilpa Poets.
. One of my duties is organising a visual display each month
to accompany the poetic flights of our performers.
This month the Virtual Gallery‘s feature artist is Saul Steinberg.
Saul Steinberg was born to a Jewish family
in Râmnicu Sărat, Buzău, Romania in 1914.
He studied architecture in Milan, graduating in 1940.
Shortly after his graduation the introduction of anti-
Semitic laws by the Fascist government led him to leave Italy.
He spent a year in the Dominican Republic
whilst awaiting a visa to the United States.
Steinberg’s entry to the USA was sponsored by the New Yorker, a magazine he was to be intimately involved with,
creating 87 covers and over 1200 drawings.
Steinberg brought a European sensibility to his work and an outsider’s sense of the foibles and follies of American life
as well as a genuine affection for his subjects. His Art blurred the line between
cartooning and “fine” art and his work was often shown in galleries.
As well as drawing, he enjoyed creating crude, vital masks out of such materials
as cardboard and paper bags.
His work was wide-ranging and hard to easily define.
Many were reminiscent of MC Escher and explored the links and gaps
between perception and reproduction, leading his work
to be highly praised by the great Art theorist EH Gombrich.
He was also one of the finest political cartoonists of the 20th century,
mocking the post-war American cult of the “Organisational Man”
and showing a USA whose deities included Sigmund Freud,
Santa Claus and Uncle Tom.
In the 1970s he did a series of drawings of Mousketeer terrorists,
those cute young kids from the 50’s have acquired Armalites
and seem keen to fuck things up.
Steinberg died in 1999, but his work remains influential.
The New Yorker still continues to occasionally re-print his covers.
Don’t forget, he next meeting of the Kurilpa Poets is on Sunday 27 September,
at the South Brisbane Croquet Club, Musgrave Park, West End at 2pm.
Local Visual Artists who are interested having their work shown
on the Virtual Gallery should contact Shane K or Rev Hellfire at Kurilpapoets@yahoo.com.au
Meantime come along this month and check out the eclectic weirdness
of Saul Steinberg.
Kurilpa Poets- Where a good time is always had.