Saul Steinberg (1914–1999) is widely known for his decades of drawings in The New Yorker magazine. He thought of himself as an author who drew—a conceptual artist. Born in Romania, Steinberg studied architecture in Milan and contributed cartoons to student journals. In 1941, Fascist anti-Semitic laws caused him to flee Europe. By the time he arrived in New York in 1942, his drawings had already appeared in several American periodicals, including The New Yorker. He soon entered the U.S. Naval Reserve, joining the Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the Central Intelligence Agency. He served in China, North Africa, and Italy, returning to Washington, D.C. in 1944.
All of this gave Steinberg a healthy distrust of power, authority, and even perception. After the War, he poured his energy into his art. He became famous for destabilizing his audience, reorienting them to his off-kilter point of view.
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Minneapolis Institute of Art
2400 Third Avenue South