Keith Mayerson and Peter Saul

Opening Reception: Tuesday, July 8th, 6-8pm

July 8 – August 8, 2014

Mayerson Sitting Bull
Peter Saul Sonny, It's Time for You to Leave Home
Peter Saul Raccoons
Keith Mayerson Obama's Night
Peter Saul Brains
Mayerson Little Hamlet
Mayerson Michelangelo Jesus
Mayerson Green Iconscape
Keith Mayerson Keanu
Keith Mayerson Martin Luther King
Peter Saul Duet

Press Release

Keith Mayerson and Peter Saul

July 8 - August 8, 2014

Opening Reception: Tuesday, July 8th, 6-8pm
 

I’m proud and honored for my work being shown alongside that of one of my great heroes, Peter Saul.  Many people don’t realize that Peter was perhaps even earlier than Guston for using “cartoon-like” icons in allegorical narrative situations in a personal manner (unlike Warhol and Lichtenstein, who were using Duchamp-like maneuvers of the Ready Made and appropriation when bringing cartoon strips into a fine art world), building on the language of the Modernists (especially Picasso) and comics to make something new.  I saw my first Saul when I was a college student at Brown University, visiting the neighboring RISD museum, and was blown away by his use of “cartoony imagery” in a painting that was serious and in a museum.  As a teenager, loving comics, seeing Henri Rousseau for the first time at the Musee Jeu de Paume was a revelation, but to see a “painted cartoon” in a contemporary world made me realize, as always the “cartoon guy” on campus (I did the daily strip for the paper at Brown, also comics for every publication in schools since kindergarten) that I could “do this”: transfer my skills and knowledge into the transcendent world of fine art.  Although my work doesn’t look on the surface much like his, I think he taught me about using iconic signifiers and figures that I could project myself into for emotion and as an avatar in paint (like Scott McCloud describes in his amazing book, Understanding Comics, that we do as comic readers), and create figurative narrative allegories that hopefully resonate deeper than most political cartoons and relate to Goya and other art historical uses of politics and allegory as much as the imagery could relate to underground comics and contemporary worlds. It is my great pleasure to have gotten to know Peter, and to have curated him in shows and to organize panels that he has participated in, and a “dream come true” to have an exhibition along with this contemporary Master.
 
 -Keith Mayerson, July 2014

 

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