Picks and Pans Review: William Steig—drawings

updated 02/11/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/11/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

with an introduction by Lillian Ross

His drawings have the spontaneous quality of those rough squiggles most of us make while we talk on the telephone. Ah, but from Steig's pen come women with the broadest of bottoms, biblical scenes, Camelot, American history, fairy tales, the New York slums and imagined gardens of moons and midnight revels (perhaps with a satyr right out of a Picasso etching). His drawings—they are not cartoons—have appeared in The New Yorker for the past 50 years. While some of Steig's ballet dancers may look like Calder wire sculptures and his angels a bit like Chagall's, a Steig is a Steig and not to be mistaken for any other artist. He is a sublime doodler, and this large and handsome book is a national treasure. (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, $19.95)

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