La Vie d'Artiste, 1970
Watercolor, oil, ink, stamps, graphite, on paper
29 3/4" x 39 3/4"
Provenance: Galerie Maeght, Paris

Exhibited: Cologne, Kunstverein; Stuttgart, Württembergischer Kunstverein; Hanover, Kestner-Gesellschaft;
Kulturhaus der Stadt Graz, and Vienna, Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Nov. 1974 - August 1975, No. 53



        Adam Baumgold Gallery presents an exhibition of 40 works by Saul Steinberg (1914-1999), one of the 20th century's most enigmatic and inventive artists. The exhibition will include several emblematic works from Steinberg's retrospectives at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 1978, and from Steinberg Illuminations, at the Morgan Library & Museum in 2006. There will be many early drawings, works on paper, mixed media constructions from the 1950s and 1960s that were reproduced in the Steinberg books All in Line, The Art of Living, The Passport, The Labyrinth, The New World, Le Masque, and The Inspector, as well as The New Yorker Magazine.

       Featured in the exhibition is Saul Steinberg’s drawing Dancing Couple, 1965, in which a precisely rendered man dances with a comic, stick figure woman. In the early, masterful drawing Drugstore, 1946, (reproduced in The Art of Living) Steinberg shows a slice of old New York, with a crowded luncheonette counter and a pharmacy teeming with activity, in a dazzling perspectival display.

       Saul Steinberg’s oversized La Vie d’Artiste, 1970, is a compendium of colorful, imagined vistas and fake documents, loosely autobiographical in nature. Several related colored postcard landscapes will be exhibited: Mombasa, 1969, and Four Sunsets, 1971, as well as The Declaration of Independence, 1974, and Document, c.1959, invented “document” drawings filled with artist-made rubber stamps and seals, and imaginary calligraphy.

       In the pair of drawings Spiral I and Spiral II (1961), Steinberg examines the relationship between conceptual and illusionistic art. In Spiral I the line of a landscape extends into a giant spiral ending at the tip of the pen of an artist who stands in the center of his own creation. In Spiral II, a small figure marches down a completed spiral and out into a drawn landscape.

       Two of the artist’s mixed media “table” sculptures, Venice Table, 1979 and Cairo Table, 1981, incorporate “eye-fooling fakes” of his drawing tools—a box of whittled wooden pencils, a paintbrush—as well as imagined odds and ends of his desk: a slice of cucumber, an old photograph, a postcard, etc. Harold Rosenberg describes this series of work as “fabrication that stands for him but also hides him. The Tables continue his autobiography in personal terms that betray no secrets.” 1

       Double Still Life, 1981, the cover drawing for Steinberg’s exhibition Still Life and Architecture, is populated with some of the artist’s prized objects: a Delft vase, toy tin alligator, Japanese postcard, a studio clock, etc. Tacked to the wall above these items is a drawing within this drawing, containing a cryptic visual puzzle of interwoven symbols—pen and inkwell, decanter, loaf of bread with knife, and a burning candle.

       In Saul Steinberg’s drawing Allegory, 1963, exhibited in the Whitney and Morgan retrospectives, “virtually every detail invites one-to-one symbolic translation and gendering a sense of familiarity that feels like understanding. A stork is birth; a skeleton death; Uncle Sam climbing Jacob’s ladder is some kind of progress. Art finds her ideal subject in the mirror, while Reason (a Pythagorean diagram) is caressed by voluptuous Beauty…”2 Any connection among the symbols of Allegory becomes illusory. Steinberg said of his art, “what I am playing with is the voyage between perception and understanding.”3


1 Harold Rosenberg, “Saul Steinberg,” p. 30.
2Joel Smith, “Saul Steinberg Illuminations,” p. 156.
3 Joel Smith, “Saul Steinberg Illuminations,” p. 156.



Dancing Couple, 1965
Graphite and colored crayon on paper
20" x 15"
Exhibited: Saul Steinberg Retrospective, Whitney Museum, 1978

Private Collection

All Images © The Saul Steinberg Foundation/ARS, NY









Double Still Life, 1979
Colored pencil on paper
21 1/2" x 29 1/2"
Cover of Saul Steinberg's Still Life and Architecture, 1982










Allegory, 1963
Ink, watercolor on paper
22 ¼” x 28 ¾”
Provenance: Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
Exhibited: Saul Steinberg (traveling retrospective), Whitney Museum 1978;
Saul Steinberg Illuminations (traveling retrospective) J.P. Morgan Library 2006.
Illustrated in both catalogs.
Private Collection










Drugstore, 1946
Ink on paper
24" x 18"
Reproduced in Saul Steinberg, The Art of Living









View of the World from 9th Avenue, 1981
Ink marker and colored pencils on paper
14" x 11"










Venice Table, 1979
oil, collage, painted wood, ink and pencil on wood
.9" x








Cairo Table, 1981
oil, collage, painted wood, ink and pencil on wood
16 1/8
" x
20 3/4"
Provenance: Galerie Maeght Lelong, Paris

Elisabeth Franck Gallery, Belgium










Rain, 1975
Ink, crayon, waterolor on paper
20" x 14"
variant of The New Yoker Magazine cover for August 25, 1975

Provenance: Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
Galerie Maeght, New York









Equivalent of 8, 1962
Pen and ink and collage on paper
22 3/4" x 14 1/2"
Provenance: Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago IL
Pace Gallery, New York NY

Reproduced in The New Yorker Magazine, November 17, 1962
Reproduced in in Saul Steinberg: The New World










Spiral I and Spiral II, 1961
Ink on paper; Ink, colored pencil on paper
14 1/2" x 11 1/2" each
Reproduced in The New Yorker Magazine, Saul Steinberg The New World







Declaration of Independence, 1974
Ink, graphite, collage, rubber stamp
22 1/2” x 30"









Untitled (Cat Family), 1954
Ink, collage on paper
13 1/4” x 10 3/4"
of March 20, 1954 New Yorker Magazine cover








Untitled (Woman & Monument), c.1946
Ink on paper
14 7/8" x 11 1/8"












Railway, 1952
Ink, crayon, and pencil on paper
14 1/2" x 19 7/8" 
Reproduced in Saul Steinberg The Passport










The Guitaress, 1954
Ink and crayon
20" x 13"









Mombasa, 1969
Ink, watercolor, rubber stamps on paper
22 1/8” x 28”











Four Sunsets, 1971
Oil, watercolor, and stamps on paper
20" X 30"
Provenance: Betty Parsons Gallery, NY








Indians, 1964
Ink and colored pencil on paper
18 1/5" x 24 4/5"
Exhibited: Saul Steinberg Tomi Ungerer Museum, Strasbourg, France

Reproduced in Strasbourg catalogue








 Landscape, 1964
Ink, graphite, colored pencil on paper
9 1/2" x 10 1/2"
Reproduced in Saul Steinberg's Le Masque








 Untitled (1), 1960
Ink on paper
11 1/4" x 14 1/2"


Untitled (2), 1960
Ink on paper
11 1/4" x 14 1/2"









Untitled (Car), 1952
Ink on paper
13" x 23"
Reproduced in A.J. Liebling Second City







St Valentine's Day Massacre, 1952 
Reproduced in A.J. Liebling Second City
Ink on paper
13" x 23"

St Valentine's Day Massacre, 1952 (Verso)
Reproduced in A.J. Liebling Second City

Ink on paper
13" x 23"










Untitled, 1967 
Ink, artist's stamps and seals on paper
20" x 26"
Provenance: B. C. Holland Gallery, Chicago










Untitled (Paris cafe), 1959
ink on paper
11 1/2" x 14 1/2"
Reproduced in The New Yorker Magazine 8/29/1959












Kunming, 1959
ink on paper
7 3/4” x 9 7/8”
Provenance: Sidney Janis Gallery










Utopia III, 1967
Pen, ink and stamps on paper
19¾" x 25½"









Untitled (document), c.1959
mixed media
12" x 8 3/4"







Shadow Couple, 1952 
Ink, graphite on paper
13 1/2" x 10 1/4"
Reproduced in Saul Steinberg's The Labyrinth







Untitled (Arch), c. 1950
Ink on paper
14 3/4" x 11 3/4"







Untitled (Arch), c. 1950
Ink on paper
14 3/4" x 11 3/4"










Untitled (Bird), 1981
Colored pencil on paper
11" x 14"













To Puddy, 1964
graphite, colored pencil on paper
6" x 8 1/2"












Untitled (Woman, Aug. 9, 1962), 1962
graphite, colored crayon on paper
9 1/2" x 7 1/4"