David Salle (데이비드 살레) was born in Oklahoma in 1952 and grew up in Wichita, Kansas. In 1970, he was part of the founding class at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, where he studied with John Baldessari. After receiving his BFA degree in 1973 and his MFA degree in 1975, both from CalArts, Salle moved to New York, where he has lived ever since.
Like many artists of his generation, David Salle drew inspiration for his rich visual vocabulary largely from pre-existing imagery. Drawing on models from art history, advertising, design, and everyday culture, Salle creates an assemblage with multiple cultural references. Since the mid-1980s, his paintings have included allusions to the works of Baroque painters Velázquez and Bernini, post-impressionist Cézanne, Giacometti and Magritte, and post-war American art. In 2004, the element vortex was incorporated into David Salle’s artistic syntax. It became the dominant element in his paintings. In most cases, Salle places these vortices, reminiscent of the Surrealists’ anamorphic experiments, in the center of the canvas: they seem to pull the depicted fresco-like nudes, tapestry-designed shells, portraits of women, manga figures, and African sculptures into oblivion. The extraordinary precision of Salle’s paintings is breathtaking. The distortion of the subjects is a testament to his excellent mastery of modern graphics software.
David Salle’s paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide for over 35 years. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at the Whitney Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; MoMA Vienna; Menil Collection, Houston; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Kestner Geselshaft, Hanover; Guggenheim Bilbao. In 2015 he had solo exhibitions at the Dallas Contemporary and in 2016 at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo in Málaga, Spain. He has participated in major international exhibitions, including Documenta 7 (1982), the Venice Biennale (1982 and 1993), the Whitney Biennial (1983, 1985 and 1991), the Paris Biennial (1985) and the Carnegie International (1985).
David Salle is also considered one of the most trenchant and original critical voices of the last decade. He writes regularly for the New York Review of Books and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A collection of his essays, How To See, was published by W.W. Norton in 2016.
Since 1998 the record price for this artist at auction is $795,340 USD for Mingus in Mexico, sold at Christie’s London in 2017.
Solo exhibitions (selection):
Southampton Art Center Outdoor Sculpture Garden
curated by Eric Fischl
May through September 2021
DAVID SALLE TREE OF LIFE
Skarstedt New York 79th Street
September 17th through October 30th 2021
DAVID SALLE ALCHEMY IN LIFE
Lehmann Maupin Seoul, Korea
October 7 through November 13, 2021
SELF-IRONING PANTS AND OTHER PAINTINGS
Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Marais, France
25 Jan 2020 – 29 Feb 2020
The Brant Foundation Art Study Center Greenwich
November 15, 2021 through April 1st 2022
ARTIST’S EYE: David Salle.