On 5 January 2013, Mary Boone Gallery will open at its Fifth Avenue location an
exhibition of works on paper by PETER SAUL and JIM SHAW. The exhibition has been
organized by writer and curator Klaus Kertess. Works by Jim Shaw are courtesy of
Metro Pictures, New York.
Peter Saul and Jim Shaw are two of the more idiosyncratic artists who are currently
keeping the flame of figurative art alive. The indefatigable veteran Peter Saul has created
an ever-changing style. Never concerned about political correctness, Saul has given life to
an evolving cartoon mode, expertly drawn and rendered in meticulously painted near Day-
Glo gaseousness. His subjects range from a raving Stalin about to execute a platoon of
enemy soldiers to a Self-Portrait as a Woman, 2006, in which a doctor can be seen with a
vacuum sucking up the subject’s right arm. In the same year, he created an Execution of
Jesus. His drawings are as meticulously and expertly finished as his paintings. He knows
how to disperse a refined and lively drawing style.
Jim Shaw’s lyrically rendered drawings exist in an enigmatic dream space. His figures
often look like relatives of the denizens occasionally found in Magritte’s mysterious places
and faces. He has drawn delicate half faces that look as though they have been sliced in
half and are melting into the floor boards upon which they were drawn. Or he might focus
on a scene featuring a strange beast with a coat that seems to have been printed digitally.
In two just completed drawings he has added wiry naked warriors to The Battle of Cascina
as seen alternately by da Vinci and Michelangelo.