Relax in Electric Chair: Peter Saul at di Rosa

March 4–July 26, 2015
di Rosa, Napa, CA

“This style had already been condemned as bad so I thought I might as well proceed in the wrong direction.” -PS

Peter Saul’s (b. 1934) lush, lurid, troubling, and masterfully rendered paintings have been admired and derided the world over for more than 50 years. A San Francisco native, the artist has charted his own candy-colored course from California to Paris to Austin to New York, exploring sex, money, politics, self-loathing, food, war, death, and many combinations therein. This presentation marks the first time all seven Saul works in the di Rosa collection—several not on view for many years—have been exhibited simultaneously. It is also the artist’s first solo Northern California exhibition in over 10 years. In addition to several works on canvas, the show includes one of only two Saul sculptures in existence, the seminal Relax in Electric Chair (Dirty Guy) from 1965. Its title speaks to the trademark blend of comfort and alarm that accompanies the typical Peter Saul viewing experience. Together, this arresting collection presents the outline of a singular career defined less by trends than by bucking them.