is a center for contemporary art in Southeast Portland, Oregon. It is led by a desire to support artists, propose new modes of production, and stimulate the ongoing public discourse around art. 800 SE 10th Avenue. Open June 30–August 29, Wed/Thu 4–8pm, Fri/Sat/Sun 2–6pm, or by APPOINTMENT

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STEINBERG, SAUL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2012

STEINBERG, SAUL. THE NEW YORKER. NEW YORK, 1945–2000. (HAROLD, WILLIAM, ROBERT, TINA, DAVID, EDS.)

June 16–August 10, 2012

April 25, 2012, Portland, OR—Yale Union (YU) is pleased to announce its Summer 2012 exhibition, a telling of Saul Steinberg’s five-decade relationship with The New Yorker magazine. For more than 50 years, Steinberg was The New Yorker’s in-house observer, visual epitome, and—though he would have thought the word mangy and malnourished—its chief cartoonist, too. He disliked being called an artist, since it called to his mind the salon-swindle of “exciting” objects and collectors’ manias. “All of those drawings, whimpering at night in the wrong houses,” was his dry description of the consequences of selling pictures to collectors, rather than to publishers.

This exhibition, naming The New Yorker’s consecutive editors, collects some 200 of Saul Steinberg’s 1000 published contributions, presented as is: magazines, collected over time; some slightly yellowed and hung with that irrevocable library smell, (Longview Public Library, October 22, 1955) and others, mint (V.G.+,
no marks, no ears, no creases), en-sleeved and collected with breathy fandom.

If there is a way to think about Steinberg without thinking about the magazine itself—its distribution, advertising, reputation, the dense thicket of Marshall McLuhan adage (old clothes upon old bones), and the bloodless and goofy-footed ghost of Walter Benjamin, then we are blind to it. We can’t imagine how you could see Steinberg’s stenographic line without seeing the page it is on. “Everything has a message,” Steinberg noted, “even the smell of museums. In Europe, museums smell of town halls and grade schools; in America they smell like banks.” The fact that the work was delivered like milk has a message, the page has a message, the ads have a message, the neighborhood of fiction and news have a message; all of it makes for juxtapositions as eerily apposite as anything the French surrealists could come up with. Libido-heavy Masterpiece pipe tobacco and pre-ironic ads for J.L. Hudson Vycron® polyester pantsuits running opposite a Steinberg, a Sylvia Plath poem, and a paragraph where Harold Rosenberg pours cold gravy over some poor painter’s heart. Perhaps that makes it sound like this exhibition is all shell and no pearl, so we’ll drop that spoon, in hopes that you’ll think sometimes of other lovely things.

As a matter of biographical fact, Saul Steinberg (1914–1999) was a misfit. Born in Romania, European to the bone, he was shaken out of a congenial life by the turbulence of politics and war, and cast ashore to America in the 1940s where he lived strung up between the uninteresting and unfortunate binary of Artist v. Cartoonist. His work was shown during his lifetime at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian Institution.

In September 2012, the exhibition STEINBERG, SAUL. THE NEW YORKER. NEW YORK, 1945–2000. (HAROLD, WILLIAM, ROBERT, TINA, DAVID, EDS.) travels to Artspace (Auckland, New Zealand).

PROGRAMS

STEINBERG, SAUL. THE NEW YORKER. NEW YORK, 1945–2000. (HAROLD, WILLIAM, ROBERT, TINA, DAVID, EDS.)

OPENING RECEPTION
Saturday, June 16, 6–9pm; at Yale Union

TALK: Stuart Bailey of Dexter Sinister
Tuesday, July 3, 7pm; at Yale Union
A lecture on the history of The New Yorker’s design

TALK: Robert Snowden and Scott Ponik
Tuesday, July 31, 7pm; at Yale Union
A presentation on Saul Steinberg by Yale Union (YU) curators Robert Snowden and Scott Ponik

SCREENING: The Right Way (1982)
Thursday, August 9, 8pm; at Yale Union
A film by Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss

INFORMATION

OPEN HOURS
June 16–August 10, 2012
Thursday–Saturday 12–8pm

TOURS
Tours of the Yale Union building are available upon request with one week’s notice.
Please call (503) 236-7996 or email yu@yaleunion.org.

LOCATION
Yale Union (YU)
800 SE 10th Ave (between SE Morrison and SE Belmont)
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 236-7996

CONTACT
Amanda Clem, Communications
communications@yaleunion.org
(503) 236-7996