PETER SAUL (B. 1934)
Ha Ha Ha
signed and dated 'SAUL '06' (lower left)
oil and coloured pencil on paper
4118 x 5978in. (104.4 x 152.2cm.)
Executed in 2006
Leo Koenig Inc., New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2006.
New York, Leo Koenig Inc., Peter Saul: Recent Paintings, 2006.
Special notice
This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.
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Lot Essay

In Ha, Ha, Ha, Peter Saul has painted a liquefication. His subject, a black-haired man, is melting: while his nose, mouth, and ears remain somewhat in place, his eye has migrated south, as surreal as any of Rene Magritte’s ocular creations. Like sardonic supertitles, the titular laughter has been scrawled above in pale blue. Born in San Francisco, Saul came of age against the backdrop of Abstract Expressionism; while he was enthralled by these artists’ gestural brushwork, he wanted to paint the ephemera and imagery of his everyday world. His ensuing visual idiom—a gestural Pop art—satirizes politician, social ills, and his own self all rendered in Day-Glo colours. ‘When I start painting, I forget about myself,’ Saul has said. ‘This artwork is my attempt to make paintings that art hot rather than cool. It’s like reaching for the hot sauce at a restaurant so your dish has more oompf’ (P. Saul quoted in N. Sayej, ‘Pop art painter Peter Saul: “What's the matter with me? Who knows”’, The Guardian, 19 February 2020,

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