New York

Saul Steinberg

Sidney Janis Gallery and Betty Parsons Gallery

Saul Steinberg has been known for a long time as an extremely unconventional cartoonist. In his books of more than a decade ago, the next page always represented the unknown. Steinberg’s drawings were never jokes with punch-line captions, and what appeared within balloons demonstrated its form, but was never legible. Penmanship became a linguistic alternative to syntax and semantics. Steinberg’s concurrent shows at Sidney Janis and Betty Parsons don’t contain this kind of constant surprise, but they are not without small, quiet ones.

There are basically three kinds of work at the Janis Gallery: works that look like watercolors, but are oil paint and rubber stamp on paper; wooden assemblages of draftsmen’s tools; and drawings more likely to be associated with Steinberg. The oil on paper works contain at least two landscape pictures per page. Each picture consists of a flat, but not straight,

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