Peter Saul (b. 1934) is known for his colorful, humorous, and iconoclastic depictions of historical events and popular culture. He received a BFA from the Washington University School of Fine Arts in St. Louis in 1956, and since has received various prestigious awards, including the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 1993 and the Artists’ Legacy Foundation award in 2008. A precursor to Pop art and a guidepost towards neo-Surrealism, Saul’s work aims, through cartoon-like imagery, to remove artificial morality and pretension from otherwise glaringly political paintings. He uses clashing visual references — whether it be Mickey Mouse, Greek mythology, or Donald Trump — and even more clashing colors to heighten the viewer’s awareness. Motifs float in an undefined space, creating unsettling scenes that challenge the conventional understanding of what “weird” can be.
Saul has been painting since the early 1960s, and over his long career has solidified himself as one of America’s boldest painters. Through the years he has been celebrated by several important museum retrospectives, most recently the 2020 exhibition “Peter Saul: Crime and Punishment” at the New Museum in New York City. Saul's work is in many permanent collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Whitney Museum of American Art, Yale University Art Gallery and the Carnegie Museum of Art.