Exhibitions


Les Abattoirs, Musée – Frac Occitanie, Toulouse (FR)   20 September 2019 - 26 January 2020

Peter Saul
Pop, Funk, Bad Painting and More

This retrospective, the first museum exhibition in France devoted to the American artist Peter Saul since 1999, spans the career of one of the last contemporaries of Pop Art, from the late 1950s to the present day. Unprecedented in its scope, Peter Saul. Pop, Funk, and Bad Painting and More brings together just over 90 artworks, some previously unseen, as well as a collection of archive materials.

Curator: Annabelle Ténèze

Peter Saul (born 1934) continues today his constant highlighting of the most pressing issues of the world and of art, making him still one of the most influential painters for young artists. In this retrospective, visitors will discover his exuberant and colourful way of representing global, and in particular American, history and culture, including his reinterpretations of art history, as in the room devoted to "The Peter Saul Museum", a free-spirited, funny and offbeat museum.

His career, surprisingly, began in Paris at the dawn of the 1960s. It was there that the artist created his first pieces reproducing superheroes, comics and everyday objects from the American way of life. Yet Peter Saul, thousands of kilometres from the epicentre of the pop art movement, to which he denies affiliation while sharing its themes, and whose work expresses the quintessence of American art, was to offer a more critical viewpoint, questioning the consumerist and imperialist model. On his return to the United States in 1964, he settled in California, the home of Funk Art, with which his pop and surrealist pictorial oeuvre found an echo. Peter Saul's work proved to be both unique and precursory of the major currents in painting. Divergent pop and dazzling funk, his art became a new method of producing history painting using today's colours, just as his way of reworking art’s masterpieces prefigures his Bad Painting and its success in the 1980s. He has also been consistently attentive to world chaos. The Vietnam War, the struggles for civil rights, American presidents (from Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump), ecology, junk food and cigarettes are among the powerful themes he has addressed in his work.

© Fondation Gandur pour l’Art, Genève

Works on loan

Peter SAUL
Officer's Club
1963
Peter SAUL
Honeymoon
1964
Peter SAUL
Ever Redy
1963