David Salle: David Salle


Gallery Faurschou Copenhagen

10 January – 29 March 2008

Press Release:


Galleri Faurschou opens in the New Year with new works by the American painter David Salle, who broke through internationally in the 1980’s with his large figurative works, eclectically juxtaposing various image fragments and objects.


Quoting art history, advertising, films, erotica, comics and his own black and white photographs Salle creates complex, collage-like compositions. The compositions might appear overwhelming if not for the rhythm and structure underlying the seemingly random combined imagery. These may be motives or objects reappearing, the framing of figures, or the joining of canvases.


In his new works, Salle works with perspective. In several of these works the motives have been compressed or elongated, similar to the effect of a mirrored cabinet. In other works the motives are whirled around as in a centrifuge. A female figure painted in black and white is juxtaposed with a brightly coloured Manga character, seemingly thrown into a turbine, as the character is wrought towards the centre of the whirl whereto the viewers gaze is drawn.

Salle has painted these ”Vortex-paintings” over the past years. They take their starting point in the female figure, either derived from his previous paintings and photographs or as in this case from a Manga comic. Perhaps the inspiration comes from his childhood upbringing in the flat American landscape of Kansas, often impacted by tornadoes. Nonetheless everything in the picture surface is whirled around as in a psycadelic expansion of our conscience – or as an experiment trying to illustrate the way our conscience processes the everyday maelstrom of information.


Salle’s paintings are at once both easily decodable and difficult to read. In a baroque imagery aeroplanes, shells, a hat, an empty blouse or a porcelain cup float, as a gesture to both Dadaism (Man Ray), Surrealism (Magritte), and also Pop Art (James Rosenquist) where random meetings of objects of differing and unpredictable relations create unpredictable reactions.


For David Salle is exactly this conscious connecting of things that makes the poetry of the paintings and thus his works’ syntax, is often as structured as that of a verse.

In his earlier works it was often imagery borrowed from somewhere that he placed into his works, now Salle’s paintings seem more carried by his own personal iconography. Salle is often praised for his equilibrist technique – yet another important and perhaps slightly overlooked quality with Salle’s paintings’ is his colouration, exactly as thoroughly worked through and as important a part of the paintings as his figuration.

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