David Salle was born in Norman, Oklahoma in 1952. He earned his BFA and MFA from the California Institute of Art, where he studied under John Baldessari. Salles paintings are directly influenced by a number of seemingly unrelated images, taken from a variety of sources: advertising design, art history, popular culture. The resulting images are concentrated cultural references, often erotically themed.
Salles first solo exhibition created some controversy. The intrusive sexuality and jarring cultural commentary overwhelmed the palette of the contemporary viewer, only just becoming accustomed to being barraged by juxtaposed images. The Paris Review print is exemplary of Salles layering of artistic references. His work was in the 1993 Venice Biennale and in major retrospectives of the Whitney Museum.
Questions Without Answers for John Baldessari
A major exhibition devoted to the mercurial conceptual work of John Baldessari is currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Here, on the occasion of that retrospective, the master painter David Salle puts some probing questions…