BORN: 1914 in Ramnicu Sarat, Romania
DIED: 1999 in New York, New York
Saul Steinberg was an acclaimed graphic artist whose ever-evolving style represented the rapid changes in postwar life during the 20th century. Early in his career, Steinberg studied architecture and contributed cartoons to Italian humor newspapers such as Bertoldo and Settebello, until anti-Semitic laws in fascist Italy forced him to flee. In 1942, he came to the United States where he began his nearly six-decades-long career creating inside drawings and covers for The New Yorker, such as the famous 1976 cover View of the World from 9th Avenue. Gaining traction in the art world, Steinberg also exhibited in international galleries and museums, including a landmark exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art alongside Arshile Gorky, Isamu Noguchi, and Robert Motherwell.
Steinberg defined drawing as “a way of reasoning on paper,” an idea he constantly explored in new visual territories of drawings, paintings, collages, murals, and sculptures. Through a wide range of media, Steinberg often combined several styles into a single piece of art as a way to expose the imbalance between artifice and authenticity in modern life. Either ironically or affectionately, but always with a bit of humor, Steinberg’s complex art blends reality with the absurd, depicting the nuances in art and civilization.