Peter Saul’s American Icons

J. Hoberman at The Point:

A mild sensation in the late Sixties, a cult artist in the early Aughts, and now a seasoned art world veteran, Saul, who is 86, is having a moment. “How long until Peter Saul is rediscovered once and for all,” Beau Rutland wrote on the occasion of Saul’s comprehensive 2017 show at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt. European retrospectives and newly respectful reviews have culminated in a two-floor survey at the New Museum last February. It is Saul’s first retrospective in New York City, accompanied by a lavish catalog and the publication of his “professional artist correspondence,” a fascinating collection of letters written to his parents and his longtime gallerist Allan Frumkin.

Aptly named “Crime and Punishment,” the New Museum exhibition, which closes this week, is both seductive and off-putting. Each canvas is a consummately designed riot. The colors—hot pink, bilious lime, deep purple—scream. The images deliquesce. If you are in range, you’re spattered or slimed.

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