Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Saul Steinberg: Two Landscapes

Two watercolor landscapes by Saul Steinberg were sold yesterday at Doyle in New York. For Mombasa (1969), Steinberg has chosen some fairly unremarkable white structures and boldly emblazoned them with contrasting black windows and doorways. The landscape colors are muted, although the watercolor technique is quite dramatic in the upper image. The composition is unified with a series of vertical poles, and rubber stamp images of standing figures and crocodiles. Present also are Steinberg's trademark fanciful inscriptions and official-appearing rubber stamp imprints.

By comparison, Ten Sunsets (1970) is more colorful, more fanciful, and overall less unified. Gold foil adds a prominent collage element. This is clearly the more desirable of the two Steinberg works,  but it is not necessarily the better value. It sold for five times what Mombasa brought.

Both these works were included in the 2009 show "Saul Steinberg Landscapes" at the Adam Baumgold Gallery in New York. At this exhibition, Ten Sunsets appeared with the title The Postcard Theory.

Saul Steinberg, Mombasa, 1969

Saul Steinberg, Mombasa, 1969, Doyle, April 8, 2013


Saul Steinberg, Ten Sunsets, 1970

Saul Steinberg, Ten Sunsets, 1970, Doyle, April 8, 2013
Saul Steinberg, Mombasa, 1969

Saul Steinberg, Ten Sunsets, 1970

All images © The Saul Steinberg Foundation, ARS, NY


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