David Salle

Born: 1952

Hometown: Norman, OK

Lives and Works: Brooklyn, NY

Education: MFA, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA, 1975
BFA, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA, 1973

David Salle Bio

About The Artist

David Salle is one of the most important figurative painters of the past forty years. After studying under John Baldessari at CalArts, Salle burst onto the contemporary art scene in New York in the early 1980s. His paintings often combine formal compositional elements with distinct art-historical references and images appropriated from popular culture; they resist classification and thoroughly beguile the viewer.

After producing performances and installations in the late 1970s, Salle began to make paintings in which he overlaid found images from different sources in varying styles. His paintings have included allusions to the works of the Baroque painters Velázquez and Bernini, the Post-Impressionist Cézanne, Giacometti and Magritte, and American post-war art. Based on models from art history, stock photography, advertisements, design, and everyday culture, Salle creates an assemblage with manifold cultural reference. While working in the art department of a publisher of romance and pornographic magazines he gathered photographs from the company's archives, later using them as source material for his paintings. By juxtaposing seemingly unrelated images, Salle constructs original, complex, and fragmented narratives that deny any one interpretation. During the 1980s and early 1990s he was one of the most influential young painters engaged in a representational idiom and is recognized for his role in revitalizing representational art and for being one of the great artists working today.

David Salle Permanent Collections

Select Permanent Collections

University of Alabama, Birmingham,AL
Institute of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam
Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD
CAPC musee d'art contemporain, Bordeaux, France
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Ft. Worth, TX

Works by the Artist

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