Artist biography

American painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He studied under John Baldessari and others at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA (1973–5). While working in the art department of a publisher of romance and pornographic magazines he gathered together photographs from the company's archives, later using them as source material for his paintings. After producing performances and installations in the late 1970s he began in 1979 to make paintings in which he overlaid images in different styles based on found sources, as in The Flesh Made Word (1979; Rotterdam, Boymans–van Beuningen). Although he acknowledged the example of the Transparencies series painted in the late 1920s and 1930s by Picabia, a more immediate point of comparison for works such as Good Bye D. (1982; Richmond, VA, Mus. F. A.) – with their references to popular sources and kitsch and jarring juxtapositions of styles – was in work produced in the 1960s by artists associated with Pop art, notably James Rosenquist and Sigmar Polke. During the 1980s and early 1990s he was one of the most influential young painters working in a representational idiom.

David Salle (exh. cat. by J. Kardon and L. Phillips, Philadelphia, U. PA, Inst. Contemp. A.; New York, Whitney; Los Angeles, CA, Mus. Contemp. A.; and elsewhere; 1986–8)
David Salle (exh. cat., essays K. Power and C. Schulz-Hoffmann, Madrid, Fund. Caja Pensiones, 1988)

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