Good news—painting is alive and well, thriving in the studio of Mr. David Salle. In his new work at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris, Salle’s painting is big, bold, and more direct than ever before, a jumble of images that should be chaos but make perfect sense in today’s upside-down world.
In these recent images, Salle is playing with the viewer, combining visual representation and references in a way that subverts any meaning and forces us to use a fresh eye to reconsider what he’s presented for our gaze. “Ever since I started painting, I have tried to get the fluidity and surprise of image connection, the simultaneity of film montage, into painting” Salle has said in the past. These works do just that, highlighting the performative nature of painting itself with images and motifs that explore the idea of representation and the means by which it is accomplished.
Salle’s use of collage and seemingly disparate images create absurd relations that break down our expectations and eventually lead us to an open interpretation of the work, autonomous of convention. Salle has named this effect—he calls it a “vortex,” a visual maelstrom in which meaning is opened up to the individual viewer. In these new works, you can feel that vortex, and it’s actually quite a lot of fun.
PROVOKR members can sample Salle’s new work from his Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac show here, above and below.