giovedì 28 maggio 2009
Saul Steinberg was born in Romania in 1914.
In 1933 after a year studying philosophy
at the University of Bucharest
he enrolled in the Politecnico
in Milan as an architecture student.
The precision of architectural drafting
taught him the potential
of a spare two-dimensional line
to describe a complex three-dimensional form.
During the 1930s
Steinberg applied this lesson to the cartoons
he began publishing in Milan
for the twice-weekly satirical magazine Bertoldo.
The incisive wit of these images
would distinguish much of his art.
By 1940 Steinberg’s drawings were appearing
in Life magazine.
The following year
anti-Jewish racial laws in Fascist Italy
forced him to flee.
While in Santo Domingo in 1941
awaiting a US visa
he started publishing regularly in The New Yorker.
Throughout his long career
he used drawing to think about the semantics of art
reconfiguring stylistic signs into a new language
suited to the fabricated temper of modern life.
He was, the "inspector,"
seeing through every false front,
Sometimes with affection
sometimes with irony
but always a virtuoso master
Saul Steinberg described
carefully the wrought masks
of 20th-century civilization