Saul Steinberg (Romanian-American, 1914-1999)

Saul Steinberg is best known for his six decades of witty New Yorker illustrations, but he was also involved with designing wallpaper, fabrics, public murals, stage sets, and advertisements. His collages, prints, paintings, and sculptures are steeped in Modernist styles and influences and endowed with a fantastical and absurdist streak. 
Steinberg was born to Russian Jews in Romania, but was a New York resident for 57 years. In 1933, he enrolled at the Regio Politecnico, the architecture school of the University of Milan, where he started drawing cartoons and fostered a lifelong relationship with Aldo Buzzi who would become a filmmaker. Fleeing Italy in 1941, he became known for walking the streets of his adopted city with a freshness of vision; everything in the city captured his interest, including the billboards, signs, storefronts, vehicles, graffiti, and architectural details. Drawing upon his own daily life and observations in his art, Steinberg recognized that all stimuli worked together in the urban environment to inspire a sense of potential and invention.