Falckenberg Collection 30 September 2017 — 28 January 2018

From 30 September 2017 to 28 January 2018, Deichtorhallen Hamburg is presenting an extensive survey exhibition of the work of the American painter PETER SAUL (*1934 in San Francisco, California) at the Falckenberg Collection. The exhibition will show some sixty works by this hitherto little noticed “artists’ artist”, including groundbreaking series such as his Ice Box Paintings, his comics narratives and Vietnam paintings from the 1950s and 1960s, as well as never-before-exhibited drawings and selected late works from the 1980s to the 2000s. The exhibition by Peter Saul will also be complemented by selected works from the Falckenberg Collection, which include among others Werner Büttner, André Butzer, Michael Ray Charles, Erró, Philip Guston, Christian Hahn, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, Paul McCarthy, John Miller, Manuel Ocampo, Albert Oehlen, Joyce Pensato, Raymond Pettibon, Richard Prince, and Daniel Richter.

Long before “Bad Painting” became a central concern in contemporary art, Peter Saul deliberately offended good taste. Beginning in the late 1950s he developed his highly individual idiom blending Pop Art, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Chicago Imagism, San Francisco Funk, and cartoon culture, through which he addressed complex political and social issues.

Saul shares with Pop Art an interest in the commonplace, in consumer society, and the cheerful imagery of comics in bright, appealing colors. Yet his work is also associated with the aesthetic strategies of the California counterculture. He produces an almost irate kind of painting when depicting the darker sides of the American dream. In it he combines exuberant humor and playful but harsh criticism of the system. He makes use of jokes, slapstick, puns, comedy, satire, and often crude humor in his caricature-like attacks on American high culture.

Working apart from the major artistic schools, Saul developed an extremely idiosyncratic oeuvre. Never really associated with any group or movement, he has been painting in his own way despite changing artistic fashions for more than fifty years. Saul’s paintings tell stories, tend toward exaggeration, and resist unambiguous interpretation.

An exhibition by SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE FRANKFURT in cooperation with the Deichtorhallen Hamburg / Sammlung Falckenberg

read more

Video Teaser

Audio Artist Talk



Edited by Martina Weinhart. Preface by Philipp Demandt, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, and Dirk Luckow, Deichtorhallen Hamburg. Essays by Martina Weinhart and Richard Shiff, Interview with Peter Saul by Martina Weinhart. German/English edition, 168 pages, about 96 images, Snoeck Verlag, Cologne, 2017, 29 euros.