• Grid
  • List

Collections> Browse > Blast

Collections> Browse > Blast

Image Rights
Courtesy Walker Art Center
Copyright retained by the artist


All content including images, text documents, audio, video, and interactive media published on the Walker website (walkerart.org) is for noncommercial, educational, journalistic and/or personal use only. Any commercial use or republication is strictly prohibited. Copying, redistribution, or exploitation for personal or corporate gain is not permitted.

For information on the use of reproductions for publishing and/or commercial use, please contact rights.reproductions@walkerart.org.

Peter Saul
sheet 34-1/16 × 27-½ inches
crayon, ink on paper
Not on view

Object Details

Drawings and Watercolors (Drawings)
Accession Number
in black ink front “‘61 Saul ”
Physical Description
A cartoon like rendering with an image, among others, of a police officer holding a gun.
Credit Line
Gift of John Harkey, Jr. in honor of Peter Saul, 1999

object label Peter Saul, Blast (1961) Walker Art Center, 2000

Although Peter Saul has never been awarded the same accolades as his 1960s contemporaries Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, he nevertheless remains a cult figure on the outskirts of traditional Pop Art. Known as the master of “pop-funk” because of his use of blazing Dayglo colors, he has garnered a reputation as a maverick for his unique and independent style of painting. For more than 35 years, Saul’s irreverent figurative imagery and shocking subject matter have maintained an edgy, apocalyptic style.

Blast epitomizes this unsettling, humorous sensibility. Created while Saul was living in Paris, this expressionistic drawing portrays a policeman who controls the fate of a prisoner awaiting the death sentence by electric chair. Conveying his sense of the social turmoil of the American landscape in the early 1960s, the artist plays the tension between the political and moral content of this image against the formal qualities of his soft, cartoonlike style of drawing.

This is the first work by Peter Saul to enter the Walker’s permanent collection, providing an intriguing counterbalance to the museum’s holdings in the mainstream tradition of 1960s Pop Art.

Label text for Peter Saul, Blast (1961), from the exhibition State of the Art: Recent Gifts and Acquisitions, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, July 22-October 8, 2000.

Copyright 2000 Walker Art Center