The Line / Children’s Labyrinth | Saul Steinberg, 1954

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Saul2BSteinberg2B 2BThe2BLine

 The hallmark of Saul Steinberg’s art is the inked line, always drawn with a spare elegance that expresses the semiotic richness of the line itself. As it shifts meaning from one passage to the next, Steinberg’s line comments on its own transformative nature.
The Line, the original a 10-meter-long drawing with 29 panels that unfold, accordion fashion, is Steinberg’s manifesto about the conceptual possibilities of the line and the artist who gives them life. His drawing hand begins and ends the sequence, as the simple horizontal line that hand creates metamorphoses into, among other things, a water line, laundry line, railroad track, sidewalk, arithmetic division line, or table edge; near the end, the curlicues etched by the iceskater’s blade remind us of the role calligraphy plays in Steinberg’s art.
Saul Steinberg, The Line, 1954. Ink on paper, 18 x 404, The Saul Steinberg Foundation, New York

The Line was designed for the Children’s Labyrinth, a spiraling, trefoil wall structure at 10th Triennial of Milan, a design and architecture fair that 
opened in August 1954. The drawing, photographically enlarged and incised into the wall, was one of four Steinberg conceptions used on the labyrinth.(.)

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The Children’s Labyrinth, a spiraling, trefoil wall structure at 10th Triennial of Milan, 1954
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The Children’s Labyrinth, Milan, 1954
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Saul Steinberg, The Line, 1954


2 thoughts on “The Line / Children’s Labyrinth | Saul Steinberg, 1954

  1. Labyrinthe

    La volonté attend sans cesse
    Un désir sans trouver.
    Le cran d’arrêt passionne l’absence
    de gaudriole.
    Une cicatrice vers la nuit
    profane la réflexion
    II n’y a que détachement
    On me fait souffrir
    parce que je sais l’indifférence
    Banalités embarquées sans cesse
    sur elles-mêmes.
    Les horizons attirent les yeux
    de nos sentiments.

    Francis Picabia


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