David Salle has taken the device of pastiche, which is central to modern art, and made it both the form and content of his work.
David Salle reflects the ongoing modern preoccupation with the problem of reconciling one’s individuality with the constant input of images and ideas from the outside, media-dominated world.
Angels in the Rain contains images of angel statuary, performing bears and acrobats as well as examples of the portraits, interiors and still lifes that continue to distinguish David Salle’s work. His works suggests a dramatic monologue or stand-up comedy routine.
David Salle is the great pictorial conversationalist exploring the intangible relationships between subjects and their depictions.
Portraits, interiors, still-life and abstraction are all conversing in similar time, together in a hyper-textual visual story. The connections do not seem forced, so much as nearly random.
Using cinematic techniques of quick edits and the surprises of super-imposition, Salle’s images float in a world of simultaneity and equilibrium.
Salle’s images are all images which you can see through. They have a transparency, or they have openings, they have a space you can pass through.
David Salle’s images come from a variety of sources including magazines, stock photographs, and pornography. Salle puts these images together in a painting the way another artist might create a collage using scraps of paper.
David Salle: at the edges - artist
Interview by Frederic Tuten
I visited David Salle one afternoon this past spring to see his new work and to chat awhile. I was sitting there with him in the center of his studio surrounded by paintings looking at once familiar and wonderfully strange. As is David for me: the everyday David filled with energy and open intelligence, and the reserved and intellectually honeycombed David. The paintings were waiting to be packed off to be exhibited in Los Angeles at Gagosian, and wore the freshness of art just made, art innocent of viewers and critics. 7we atmosphere in the studio seemed fresh, too. A good place, I thought, after several years in which he has not been interviewed, to have David talk about himself and his art.
David Salle at Gagosian - New York
Each entry in David Salle's turgid art-about-art series of methodically interrelated pastoral excursions is sufficiently compelling to draw the viewer from one to the next and back again, through a minefield of process, iconography and art-historical allusion. Whether a studious charting of these elements provokes exhilaration or stupefaction, whether it's stimulating or exhausting, whether diligent examination confirms the artist's woozy merit or negates it--such readings are largely a matter of taste, not of the artist's ability. This show makes it evident that the serious nature of Salle's address remains intact.
Dating mostly from 2000, these 11 exercises on the theme of the fete champetre were selected from a larger body of work with similar concerns. Painted with oil and acrylic on linen and canvas, and on the generous side of easel scale, they are elaborations on a scene of idyllic rural intimacy taken from the familiar, decorative repeat of the toile de Jouy fabric now staking a recurrent claim to fashion. Each painting depicts a dapper country lad and a reluctant maiden dawdling on the bank of a mountain stream. Affecting a coy pose, she appears to strain at the laces of her bodice while recoiling from his display of a freshly caught fish, as though nothing good could come from offerings like this. He rests against a tree and she upon a boulder; behind them, a mountain peak and clouds recede into the distance.