Saul Steinberg: behind the scenes at Triennale Design Museum

Triennale Design Museum and publishing house Electa present ‘Saul Steinberg Milano New York’, a new exhibition (until 13 March 2022) that pays homage to the American artist through 350 works. Join us for a behind-the-scenes peek at it's installation

Art from Saul Steinberg Milano New York exhibition
(Image credit: Gianluca Di Ioia)

American artist Saul Steinberg (1914 – 1999) loved Milan. He lived in the city between 1933 and 1941 while studying architecture at the Politecnico and creating satirical vignettes for local newspapers, and he dedicated many of his works to Milan. A new exhibition at Triennale Design Museum (opens in new tab), produced in collaboration with publishing house Electa and curated by Italo Lupi and Marco Belpoliti alongside Francesca Pellicciari, explores the artist’s connections with the city while celebrating his genius. 

‘Saul Steinberg Milano New York’ at Triennale Design Museum

Art from Saul Steinberg Milano New York exhibition

(Image credit: Gianluca Di Ioia )

‘We are incredibly happy that Steinberg has returned home,’ says Triennale Museum director, Marco Sammicheli (opens in new tab), who worked alongside the curatorial team to create the exhibition. ‘Milan was his home, and it’s here that he started building his visual world.’

The exhibition comprises 350 works that include pencil, pen and pastel drawings, works created with rubber stamps and watercolours, paper masks that explore identity and reflect on the human body, sculptures and collages – a series of techniques and styles that exemplify Steinberg’s multifaceted oeuvre. ‘Steinberg is stratified and complex, but in his complexity he uses the most simple thing: drawing,’ adds Belpoliti.

The Milan museum worked closely with institutions including the Saul Steinberg Foundation, New York’s Jewish Museum, as well as the artist’s friends and collectors of the his work, both in Italy and abroad. The exhibition also previews the donation to the Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense from the Saul Steinberg Foundation.

Steinberg’s view of cities (be it Milan, Venice or imaginary cityscapes of his illustrations) is a starting point for the exhibition, and among the most important works on view is a piece he created specifically for Milan. Four preparatory drawings, each up to 10m long and concertina-folded, were photographically enlarged and applied to a curved wall created by BBPR architects for the tenth Triennale, in 1954. In this work, the curators explain, Steinberg’s affinity for the line as a narrative device begins to take shape, something that will later become one of the artist’s most distinctive motifs. 

Behind the scenes at the museum

Art from Saul Steinberg Milano New York exhibition

(Image credit: Gianluca Di Ioia )

Triennale Design Museum has documented the exhibition’s set-up, designed by Italo Lupi, Ico Migliore and Mara Servetto, for the curved gallery space that is part of its Palazzo dell’Arte. 

Here, we take a peek behind the scenes at the museum, as the exhibition was being installed. 

Art from Saul Steinberg Milano New York exhibition

(Image credit: Gianluca Di Ioia )

Art from Saul Steinberg Milano New York exhibition

(Image credit: Gianluca Di Ioia)

Art from Saul Steinberg Milano New York exhibition

(Image credit: Gianluca Di Ioia)

Art from Saul Steinberg Milano New York exhibition

(Image credit: Gianluca Di Ioia)

Art from Saul Steinberg Milano New York exhibition

(Image credit: Gianluca Di Ioia)

Art from Saul Steinberg Milano New York exhibition

(Image credit: Gianluca Di Ioia)

Art from Saul Steinberg Milano New York exhibition

(Image credit: Gianluca Di Ioia)

Art from Saul Steinberg Milano New York exhibition

(Image credit: Gianluca Di Ioia)

Art from Saul Steinberg Milano New York exhibition

(Image credit: Gianluca Di Ioia)

INFORMATION
‘Saul Steinberg: Milano New York’ is at Triennale Design Museum until 13 March 2022

triennale.org (opens in new tab)

ADDRESS

Triennale Milano
Viale Alemagna 6
20121
Milan

VIEW GOOGLE MAPS (opens in new tab)

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.

With contributions from