David Salle "Some Pictures from the 80s"

Mary Boone Gallery (Chelsea)

poster for David Salle "Some Pictures from the 80s"

This event has ended.

The late 1970s and early 1980s witnessed a growing reconciliation of the figure with the planes of painting fostered by such artists as Jean Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente, Eric Fischl, Anselm Kiefer (and several fellow German neo-Expressionists), Julian Schnabel, and David Salle. With the exception of Basquiat and Salle, these artists propelled their figures into unified grounds and space, ranging from the loosely mimetic beaches, interiors, bullfighting rings et al that Fischl’s figures inhabit to the Surrealist- inspired dream spaces Clemente’s figures waft through. Basquiat’s writerly figures and words cling more precariously to modernist flatness looking back to late Picasso and Twombly. His words are seen/read in the context of the figures and vice versa. Salle’s figures, on the other hand, are seen in no context to the real world, only within the context of the painted plane they inhabit. The figures and various furnishings (physical ones occasionally appended to the canvas plane and/or painted ones) float in a kind of nowhere space. The figures are readily read as liberated from the illusion of coherent three-dimensional space and/or as alienated from the ground of realism. Willingly or unwillingly they have been divorced from the grounds that would endow them with a coherent meaning and give them a context in which to fulfill comprehensible narrative expectations. They have been expelled from the garden of realist illusion onto a vacillating stage of indetermination. Their freedom alternately liberates and encumbers their existence. Salle’s protagonists are slippery; they refuse to conform to conventional narrative expectations. They are the unforeseen consequence of improvisation.



from May 08, 2010 to June 26, 2010


David Salle

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