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Lot 8: Drawing with museum history "Bedroom", by Saul Steinberg, 1968
December 7, 2012
Berlin, GermanyLive Auction
Ink and crayon on paper
Saul Steinberg (1914-1999) - Rumanian-American Illustrator
Drawings by Saul Steinberg fetch up to 70.000 Euros in international auctions
Signed and dated lower right "Steinberg 68"
Additionally printed on the paper's edge "Copyright © 1969 by Saul Steinberg"
Light wooden frame with linen passe-partout
Dimensions, framed: 73 x 61 cm
Provenance resp. exhibition history (evident through labels on the reverse): B. C. Holland, Inc., Chicago, USA; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, USA; Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul, France; Gallery Le Clos de Sierne, Geneva, Switzerland
Maybe you do not know Saul Steinberg by name - but you definitely know his "View of the World from 9th Avenue". The front page of the New Yorker from March 29, 1976 shows the view from the New Yorker 9th Avenue down onto the small rest of the States in the background and even further in the back onto Japan, China and Russia. This image has become an icon of the American Cartoon-Art and a symbol of the New Yorker's self-perception.The cartoon at hand shows typical Steinberg elements: straight linear lines, drawn with a ruler for architectural surroundings and free drawn lines for living and human elements. The viewer looks into a room as if looking into an open box standing in front of him. A thin line with frieze-like corners forms the frame for the room constructed in central perspective. A round lamp hangs down the wall, contrasting the straight lines. In the left corner of the room lies a woman on a huge double bed, musingly looking into the room. The right third of the image is visually separated from the rest by a tall pillar of graphical elements. A little devil's face stares into the room from the lower right corner's frieze. Above the lady, a speech bubble floats in the room, but it is not her who is talking. This irritating drawing that has partially been enforced by the use of colour crayons leaves much room for interpretation.
The sheet is, besides some pin holes in all four corners, in very good condition with only minor traces of wear. The frame shows some scratches. The artist signature and dating, 'Steinberg 68', are found lower right, as is the Copyright stamp of the artist. Several badges from museums and galleries are located on the reverse. Among others, this artwork has been lent for exhibitions to the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Fondation Maeght, France. The dimensions, framed, are 73 x 61 cm; the size of the sheet is 58 x 46 cm.
Saul Steinberg (1914-1999)
Born in Rumania, Saul Steinber studied architecture in Milan but also began to produce drawings for weeklies at the time. After Steinberg was able to emigrate to the USA with a fake passport in 1941, he was initially deported to the Dominican Republic from there. In hopes of being able to return to the USA, Steinberg sent some of his drawings to the New Yorker. As a result, the magazine interceded on his behalf, pushing for his admission into the United States. During the Second World War, the self-proclaimed 'brooding scribbler' produced, at the behest of the American Office of Strategic Services, drawings that were meant to ridicule Nazis and Fascists and were dropped behind enemy lines. In 1946, he was inducted into the circle of the Fourteen Americans by the Museum of Modern Art, which made him well-known among a wider audience. Steinberg remained a contributor to the New Yorker for the rest of his life.