January 03, 2008
View from a Creative Mind

Although we are by no means a locally-focused company, with consultant/trainers traveling very widely to lead sessions, we are based in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York State, and one similarly local-but-far-reaching event caught my eye which I thought was very much worth sharing.

Steinberg,man_draws_self-50p.jpgThat would be a nearby exhibition of the work of Saul Steinberg, titled "Illuminations," the artist most famously known for his frequent appearances over six decades in The New Yorker magazine. He was the clever fellow who gave us the much-imitated 1976 cover illustration of how New Yorkers see the world, "The View from 9th Avenue," where a couple of blocks of the city dominate, and the rest of the country occupies a small square of land in the distance.

But so much of his work displayed such a fresh, wonderfully creative mind that, for me, it "illustrates" an essential attitude that successful innovators have. This is the habit of looking to see things newly, as opposed to how we usually see, which is through a haze of existing thought patterns; and, freely associating, to find useful connections between things that were hidden until then.

Steinberg,walking_up_numbers-50p.jpgIn the words of the Saul Steinberg Foundation's page on his life and work, "fingerprints become mug shots or landscapes; graph or ledger paper doubles as the facade of an office building; words, numbers, and punctuation marks come to life as messengers of doubt, fear, or exuberance; sheet music lines glide into violin strings, record grooves, the grain of a wood table, and the smile of a cat."

"Saul Steinberg: Illuminations" will be on view through February 24 at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, 124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie. (845) 437-5632;

(...which I found in Chronogram magazine.)

Gallery of Steinberg art

(All works © by The Saul Steinberg Foundation)

Posted by at January 3, 2008 12:00 PM


Bill: The main thing I love about the New Yorker is the cartoons. I rarely read the articles (doh!). I think it would be very interesting to produce a book of "business cartoons" -- insightful and funny perspectives on the world of business. A picture really is worth a thousand words and people, these days, seem to have less and less time to read. The only downside I can see about this book is the cost of getting permissions to reprint them. Still, it's worth looking into. Whaddya think?

Posted by: Mitch Ditkoff [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 5, 2008 10:06 AM

It's such a good idea that I'm pretty sure it's been done; I believe The New Yorker has one. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't be time to an updated version.

And of course, that magazine isnt' the only source of clever cartoons (-- only the best).

Posted by: Bill Ross [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 8, 2008 05:42 PM

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