Saturday, December 1, 2012

Saul Steinberg, Back in the Fold

by Drew Martin
There is an interesting article on Saul Steinberg in this week’s The New Yorker (but I cannot finish it over the weekend because I left it on my desk in Manhattan, arrrg dammit!). Anyway, it is an interesting piece that explores his womanizing and other shortcomings as detailed by Deirdre Bair in Saul Steinberg: A Biography. Just to get this out of the way, I think Steinberg was a genius cartoonist/artist.

I actually do not want to write about Steinberg, but how the picture of him and his wife, Hedda Sterne, falls in the bind crevice of The New Yorker. It is a common error/shortsightedness of layout artists who are working on Macs with big-ass monitors and only a thin line in InDesign showing them where the fold is: all they really see are flat, crisp rectangles.

I cringed when I first saw the spread but then I read the article and realized it was a happy accident because the writing expresses his calculated distance from people. The picture was obviously chosen to do this on its own
: Steinberg and Sterne are separated by a fireless fireplace (which, by the way, has a beautiful little Calder sculpture on its mantel). The layout in the hardcopy emphasizes the isolation with a three-dimensional and very physical separation.