jegallup wrote:Fallible wrote:A longtime Steinberg fan here and am on a library wait list for the bio. What did you think of the book itself? As for Steinberg, I never saw a work more instantly recognizable or original than his (except for maybe Charles Addams). And he is always the subject of the great debate between cartoonists and artists or cartoonists/artists or artists/cartoonists on whether cartoons are art (in my book, they are, just not fine art).
The book is a serious, scholarly (100 pp of footnotes!) biography and the writing doesn't sparkle. But his life is so fascinating, with so many famous people turning up at every juncture, that it has really been very enjoyable. Steinberg was often compared to the Swiss artist Paul Klee, and could be bristly about not being taken seriously. But he did very well, as his wartime experience shows. His personal life was admirable in many ways—he never failed to help his poorer relatives when they asked for money—and less admirable in others, as you'll find out. The biographer chronicles the good and the bad without judging.
Seeing his art on a computer screen doesn't convey the full effect. This museum exhibit catalog book...
http://www.amazon.com/Saul-Steinberg-Il ... 0300115865
...has many wonderful reproductions in beautiful color on large sheets, a very thoughtful introductory essay, and some excellent descriptions of individual works. This book....
http://www.amazon.com/Steinberg-New-Yor ... new+yorker
...is also very enjoyable.
Thanks for the bio review. I've seen most of his other books. It's funny, I just realized that if you saw a Steinberg drawing alone, as in the book collection, you might not (although I'd get arguments here) think of it as a cartoon. But put it in a magazine like The New Yorker, and it is a cartoon, even expanding that definition. I like that his work could stand on its own because, I think, of its originality.