Saul Steinberg was born in Râmnicu Sărat, Romania, in 1914. In 1933, after a year studying philosophy at the University of Bucharest, he enrolled in the Politecnico in Milan as an architecture student, graduating in 1940. During his years in Milan he was actively involved in the satirical magazine Bertoldo and sold cartoons to Harper’s Bazaar and Life magazine. Steinberg left Italy after the introduction of anti-Semitic laws by the Fascist government. He spent a year in the Dominican Republic awaiting a U.S. visa, arrives in New York in 1942 and married Romanian born abstract expressionist painter Hedda Sterne in 1944. After working for the Military Intelligence Division during the Second World War he returned to work for American periodicals, merging an encyclopedic knowledge of European art with the popular American art form of the cartoon, to pioneer a uniquely urbane style of illustration.
Saul Steinberg’s varied œuvre includes paintings, collages, sculptures and drawings. He received the greatest recognition for his ingenious caricatures for The New Yorker magazine, characterized by dark humor and technical virtuosity. But he also succeeded with his free works which he did exhibit throughout his career at fine art museums and galleries together with artists like Arshile Gorky und Robert Motherwell. In 1978 the Whitney Museum of American Art arranged a retrospective and in 2006 the travelling exhibition »Steinberg: Illuminations« was shown all over Europe and America. For a staging of »The Concert« with Ballets U.S.A. he created the set design for Jerome Robbins’s famous ballet. Saul Steinberg died in 1999 in New York.