David Salle

  • Lecture with David Salle
    February 22, 2017 - February 22, 2017
    University of Missouri, Kansas City

    22nd of February 2017 at 6pm

    Distinguished painter and writer, David Salle will speak on his book How to See: Looking, Talking and Thinking About Art. In this book, Salle explores art topics such as the aesthetics of cool, the relationship between art and celebrity, and the evolution of an artist’s style over a lifetime–always while paying close attention to and unpacking the workings of the art itself. Salle will give you the knowledge and courage to view art not through the veils of theory, criticism and history, but armed with your intuition, curiosity and humanity.

    More Information: http://info.umkc.edu/cockefairchair/wwi-historian-examines-verdun-scholar-identifies-music-as-propaganda/

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    From January 28, 2017
    The Birmingham Museum of Art
    2000 Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd
    Birmingham, Alabama, USA

    As the first major exhibition of contemporary art from the Museum’s own collection, Third Space /shifting conversations about contemporary art, brings together the work of more than 90 international artists to examine elements of a shared cultural experience between the American South and the Global South. Third Space features over 150 works of art in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, and video, by artists such as Kerry James Marshall, Ebony Patterson, Mark Bradford, José Bedia, Thornton Dial, and William Christenberry.

    Curated by Hugh Kaul Curator of Modern and Contemporary art Wassan Al-Khudhairi, the exhibition borrows Homi Bhaba’s term ‘third space,’ which he defines as a space that “challenges our sense of the historical identity of culture as a homogenizing, unifying force, authenticated by the originary past, kept alive in the national tradition of the People.”


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  • Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s
    January 27, 2017 - May 14, 2017
    Whitney Museum of American Art
    99 Gansevoort Street
    New York, NY 10014

    Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s presents a focused look at painting from this decade with works drawn entirely from the Museum’s collection. 

    In the 1980s, painting recaptured the imagination of the contemporary art world against a backdrop of expansive change. An unprecedented number of galleries appeared on the scene, particularly in downtown New York. Groundbreaking exhibitions—that blurred distinctions between high and low art—were presented at alternative and artist-run spaces. New mediums, including video and installation art, were on the rise. Yet despite the growing popularity of photography and video, many artists actively embraced painting, freely exploring its bold physicality and unique capacity for expression and innovation.

    The exhibition includes work by artists often identified with this explosive period—Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sherrie Levine, David Salle, and Julian Schnabel—as well as by several lesser-known painters. These artists explored the traditions of figuration and history painting, and offered new interpretations of abstraction. Many addressed fundamental questions about artmaking in their work, while others took on political issues including AIDS, feminism, gentrification, and war. In the face of a media-saturated environment, artists in the 1980s recommitted to painting. Far from dead, painting came to represent an important intersection between new ways of seeing and a seemingly traditional way of making art. 

    Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s is organized by Jane Panetta, associate curator, with Melinda Lang, curatorial assistant.

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  • An Evening with David Salle
    January 24, 2017 - January 24, 2017
    Conway Hall 25 Red Lion Square
    London WC1R 4RL
    United Kingdom

    David Salle is the leading American postmodernist painter, the shaping spirit of a movement which provocatively took the entire history of art as its raw material as well as subject matter. His works are mysteriously original, yet everything they contain has had a life elsewhere: in paintings, in advertising, in comics, in photographs, yet somehow the result is all art. To coincide with his new book – How to See: Looking, Talking and Thinking about Art– Salle will walk us through the museum without walls that is his world. The only things we need to bring are our intuition, curiosity and capacity to feel. He will show us ‘how to see’ with an artist’s eye, and what can be learnt by asking the right questions of a work: ‘What does it love, from what does it suffer, where does its heart lie?’

    ‘If John Berger’s Ways of Seeing is a classic of art criticism, David Salle’s How to See is the artist’s reply, a brilliant series of reflections on how artists think when they make their work. The ‘how’ of art has never been better explored.’ – Salman Rushdie


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    November 30, 2016 - February 28, 2017
    Saatchi Gallery
    Duke of York's HQ King's Road
    London SW3 4RY

    Saatchi Gallery presents its new exhibition PAINTERS’ PAINTERS: Artists of today who inspire artists of tomorrow, featuring the work of nine present-day painters ranging from their 30s to their 60s.

    In an age where painting has become one strand among many in contemporary art making, Painters’ Painters brings together a small group of distinctive figures in the field.

    In recent years, painting has been challenged by the myriad of other modern media and technologies embraced by contemporary art. It is less frequently seen in contemporary museums and galleries today and is seemingly out of favour with many curators.

    Painters’ Painters focuses on a group of artists who have been undeterred by the gradual decline in interest in this perennial art form.

    There is no discernible style or movement these artists belong to, and as an exhibition, it examines the very individualistic and nonconformist approaches explored by painters who are proving to be inspirational to a younger generation of artists emerging from the world’s leading art schools.

    Painters’ Painters features the work of Richard Aldrich, David Brian Smith, Dexter Dalwood, Raffi Kalenderian, Ansel Krut, Martin Maloney, Bjarne Melgaard, Ryan Mosley and David Salle.

    Painters’ Painters pays tribute to artists who have forged their own intriguingly diverse paths and techniques and continue to contribute to the ongoing development of painting today. They effectively negotiate the paradox of being both mainstream and niche, homogenous yet highly distinctive at the same time. 


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  • Inspired by True-Life Events
    September 16, 2016 - December 4, 2016
    Centro de Arte Contemporáneo
    C/ Alemania
    29001 Malaga, Spain

    The Centro de Arte Contemporáneo of Málaga is proud to host David Salle’s first show at a museum in Spain after a sixteen-year absence. For Inspired by True-Life Events, the title of the exhibition curated by Fernando Francés, the American artist has selected 32 paintings produced between 1992 and the present day. His canvases combine formulas borrowed from various creative disciplines with dramatic themes of strong emotional impact. Salle’s large formats layer a variety of culturally specific images, words and objects with provocative elements.

    In the main hall at the CAC Málaga, the American artist will exhibit works created between 1992 and the present day in his first solo show on Spanish soil in sixteen years. In the words of Fernando Francés, director of the CAC Málaga, David Salle “explores the intangible relationship between objects, and the images of his works float in a fragmented world of poetic simultaneity. His paintings address the melancholic feeling of oblivion, passion and desire exacerbated by private conflicts, which, as in the paintings of his colleague Eric Fischl, not only play out fantasies but also express the mystical, mysterious quality of the encounter with woman, always somewhere between fascination and darkly sinister.”

    In Salle’s pictorial universe there are two arts, one that reflects the singular self and another that reveals a multiple, fragmented self. David Salle is an example of the latter. His drawing is inspired by the rich visual vocabulary of pre-existing paintings. Salle creates assemblages based on models from art history (Velázquez, Bernini, Cézanne, Giacometti, Magritte, etc.), advertisements and everyday culture.

    The central theme of Salle’s oeuvre—woman as an emblem of sexuality—is omnipresent. Rather than body textures, he paints body images: imaginary screens and veils on which the outlines of absence are sketched. The ghostly sexuality of his women shrouded in spectral veils is achieved by his use of grisaille (Untitled, 1992).

    For David Salle, theme yields to form and iconography takes a back seat to pictorial expression. He edits and reconstructs images as he pleases to suit his own purposes. In Big Bend, 2014, based on an earlier work by George Caleb Bingham (a very popular American painter in the mid-19th century), Salle used the raft and eliminated everything he did not need. This was the first time he allowed himself to use perspective, something the artist sees as a deception because he does not consider himself a scene painter in any sense. The realistic composition of the raft and fishermen coexists with images that float in space, and there is a palpable struggle between the very materials used to paint the picture: acrylics for the ground, and oils on the surface. David Salle paints women’s bodies as phantasmagorical colour figures that seem to push against the surface or other figures (Charge!, 2012, and Big Bend, 2014).

    David Salle (b. Oklahoma, 1952) lives and works in New York. The artist is one of the leading exponents of the new figurative painting that emerged in the 1980s.

    He has had major solo shows at Skarstedt, New York (2015), Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, Brazil (2014), Leeahn Gallery, Seoul (2013), the Arnold and Marie Schwartz Gallery Met, Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, New York (2012), and the Whitney Museum, New York (1986), among other venues. Recently Salle has participated in group exhibitions at the Parrish Museum, New York (2016), the Whitney Museum, New York (2015), Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai (2014), and the Kawaguchiko Museum of Art, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan (2011)



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  • The Artist Project
    June 24, 2015 - March 1, 2016
    Metropolitan Museum of Art

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, launches the second season of The Artist Project, an online series in which 100 artists choose individual works of art or galleries that spark their imaginations. In this online series, artists reflect on what art is and what inspires them from across 5,000 years of art. Their unique and passionate ways of seeing and experiencing art encourage all museum visitors to look in a personal way.

    Over the course of five seasons, The Artist Project will share the perspectives of one hundred artists with the public, telling us what they see when they look at The Met.

    In Season 1 which started in March 2015 renowned artists such as Tom Sachs or Cory Arcangel participated in the project. In the second season Robert Longo, Rona Pondick and David Salle will share their view amongst seventeen other international artists.

    Read more about the The Artist Project by clicking here or click on the artists' name to discover their view on art as part of the project:

    Cory Arcangel

    Robert Longo

    Rona Pondick

    Tom Sachs

    David Salle

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