Taxi please! heading to Greenwich, CT for the David Salle Show

by leslierankowfinearts

David Salle
Plank Pose, 2012
oil and acrylic on linen
20 x 30 inches

In these times even a quick car trip to Greenwich seems like an excursion, fresh air, outdoors, no masks, adventure, free at last. As a long-time fan and follower of the work of David Salle, for the LRFA blog, news of his retrospective exhibition at the Brant Foundation was irresistible.

David Salle


Born in 1952 in Oklahoma, David Salle grew up in Wichita, Kansas. In 1970, he was part of the foundational class at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, where he studied with John Baldessari. After earning a BFA in 1973 and an MFA in 1975, both from CalArts, Salle moved to New York, where he has lived since.

Tree of Life #6, 2020

Like many artists of his Post-modern generation, David Salle initially drew inspiration for his rich visual vocabulary from existing pictures, often from the worlds of film, advertising and graphic communication. He sought out images that, as he put it in a 1981 interview, “understand us.” Distinct from others of his generation, the mainspring of Salle’s imagery has always been his own photography, the carefully staged and lit scenes that appear in his paintings like telexes from the unconscious. Since the mid-80s, his paintings have continued to expand their emphasis on dynamic, relational composition.

Frost Free, 2018 oil and acrylic on linen

A typical Salle painting is one in which the viewer’s eye is kept moving; the structure and placement of images create internal rhythms that pulse with energy. Salle’s paintings often contain allusions to artists of the past – from Velázquez and Bernini, to Picasso, Giacometti, and Magritte, as well as to American art both post and pre-war. However, a catalog of references can be misleading; sources do not a painting make. The meaning of Salle’s paintings lies in the way images are contextualized and presented, with the poetry of their juxtaposition, and, more than anything, with how they are painted.

The new works are more in the genre of comic books, using humorous images rather than the dense dramatic  earlier ones that are evocative and sexual, refer to film montage, and often feature his muse/mistress, Karen Armitage.

Shooting, 1995

Salle’s paintings have been shown 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; the Kestner Geselshaft, Hannover; the Guggenheim Bilbao. He was the subject of solo exhibitions at the Dallas Contemporary in 2015 and the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo in Málaga, Spain in 2016. He has participated in major international expositions including Documenta 7 (1982), Venice Biennale (1982 and 1993), Whitney Biennial (1983, 1985, and 1991), Paris Biennale (1985), and Carnegie International (1985).

Brant Foundation
Greenwich, CT


Founded by Peter M. Brant in 1996, The Brant Foundation has a mission to promote education and appreciation of contemporary art and design, by making works available to institutions and individuals for scholarly study and examination.

The Brant Foundation’s loan program, established in 1996, plays a crucial role in our mission to promote education and appreciation of contemporary art. The Foundation’s lending program increases public accessibility to the collection’s paramount pieces – broadening visibility to contemporary works critical to the history of art and its scholarship. Each year, the Foundation lends artwork to exhibiting venues worldwide, proudly supporting artists and art institutions around the globe. Please contact Allison Brandt for more information about their loan program.

Additionally, The Brant Foundation offers a multitude of ongoing programs and events aimed to enhance and enrich the public’s experience with contemporary art. These programs are designed to facilitate art education, foster creative and scholarly development, and provide unique opportunities for anyone with an interest in contemporary art. to learn more about The Brant Foundation’s educational programs.

David Salle Installation
Brant Foundation

The Brant Foundation, designed by Richard Gluckman, opened its doors in Greenwich, CT in 2009 and presents two long-term exhibitions each year, curated primarily from the collection. The collection is remarkable in that scores of artists are represented in depth, including works from the earliest period of their practice through their most recent works.

The structure at 941 North St. was originally built in 1909 as a cold-storage barn, part of the vast E.C. Conyers estate.

“The building was originally made from stones sourced from local farm fields. I felt it was important to preserve the turn-of-the-century architecture and great character of the building, while also breathing new life into it, first as a polo club, and now as an art study center,” says Peter Brant, Founder of The Brant Foundation Art Study Center.

Peter Brant

FOUNDER, Peter Brant

Peter Brant is an entrepreneur, manufacturing executive, publisher, philanthropist, sportsman and art collector, whose eclectic mix of personal interests and commercial ventures have resulted in achievements in business, philanthropy and the arts.

Born in 1947, Mr. Brant’s wide-ranging career, has taken him on a journey from growing up in Queens, N.Y. to his current home in Greenwich, Conn.

Peter Brant is the chairman and chief executive officer of White Birch Paper, whose predecessor business his father co-founded in the 1940s. In 2008, Mr. Brant bought out his partner in the company. In 2010, after a sharp downturn in demand for newsprint, he guided the enterprise through a major restructuring that has positioned it for the future. Today the company, which is based in Greenwich, Conn., remains among the largest newsprint manufacturers in North America, operating four pulp and paper mills in Canada and the United States.

David Salle
King Kong. 1983