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Posts Tagged ‘David Salle’

The Quotable David Salle

September 19, 2016 | by

Dana Schutz, Frank as a Proboscis Monkey, cropped, 2002, 36" x 32".

Dana Schutz, Frank as a Proboscis Monkey (detail), 2002, 36" x 32".

Recently, thanks to heavy wait times at the twenty-four-hour Genius Bar on Fifth Avenue, I found myself killing an evening at the Plaza with nothing to read but the galleys of a book of art criticism, How to See, by the painter David Salle. It turned out to be perfect company—witty, chatty, intimate, sharp. And slightly exotic (at least for this reader): you rarely see novelists write so knowingly, on a serious first-name basis, about each other’s work. Soon I was dog-earing and drawing lines in the margins next to favorite passages, as for example:

On recent paintings by Alex Katz:

Some of the color has the elegance and unexpectedness of Italian fashion design: teal blue with brown, black with blue and cream. You want to look at, wear, and eat them all at the same time.

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What We’re Loving: Rilke, Revolution, and Wild Places

May 17, 2013 | by


Even if you’ve been reading Janet Malcolm for years, the critical appreciations collected in Forty-one False Starts may surprise you. The title essay is (or pretends to be) a series of scrapped beginnings to her profile of the painter David Salle, a giant of the art world in vulnerable mid-career. If you want to write magazine prose, this alone should make you buy the book. Ranging from Bloomsbury to Edward Weston to J.D. Salinger, the entire book is full of stylistic daring, fine distinctions, and bold judgments set down at the speed of thought. —Lorin Stein

The Emperor’s Tomb was the last novel Joseph Roth wrote. Michael Hofmann, whose versions of Roth are all unsettlingly good—more like inhabitations than translations—calls it a “valedictory repertoire of Rothian tropes and characters”: Viennese cafés, feckless and frivolous young men, the call-up to war, the end of Empire, the never-ending nostalgia for Empire. If you’ve read Roth before, you’ll enjoy the new variations on old themes; if you haven’t read Roth, start with The Radetsky March. You won’t want it to end and when it does, reading The Emperor’s Tomb will bring it all back. —Robyn Creswell Read More »


Santa Comes to White Street, Holds Monster Truck Rally, Lorin’s Head Explodes

December 15, 2010 | by

Just in time to launch our December issue—out now!—Santa showed up in the person of longtime Review fan Paul Opperman, plus his friends Aaron Mirman (music), of the Duotone Audio Group, and Todd Stewart (editing), of Consulate Films. They gave us our first video ever! Paul assures us that no drawings or authors were actually harmed in the making of this tribute.

Music is by Paul and Aaron. Monster truck vocals—including Monster Truck Franzen and Monster Truck Erdrich—are by Todd. (“I only do monster truck.”) Footage of Lorin talking was repurposed from the cutting-room floor of Plimpton!, a work in progress by Tom Bean and Luke Poling.

As they say in the advertising business, this is your “call to action”—order now!


Questions Without Answers for John Baldessari

December 13, 2010 | by

John Baldessari, Portrait: (Self) #1 as Control + 11 Alterations by Retouching and Airbrushing, 1974.

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 to Baldessari, his friend and former teacher.


I have always felt a deeply humanistic undertone in your work, despite its use of irony and obliqueness. But I am hard pressed to account for why I feel it and sometimes think it's because I have known you for a long time. Where do you think it resides?

Is a Conceptual artist different from any other kind of artist?

A lot of ink has been spilled about art as the new religion, with the museum as its church. Do you agree with that view? Do you crave a spiritual dimension to art, or are you a pure materialist? Conceptualism is closest to: a) rationalism, b) romanticism, or c) symbolism? Where do you place yourself on that scale? (Hint: Romanticism insists on the primacy of the individual.)

Here's a fan question: How did you come up with the idea of singing LeWitt? I understand the desire to tweak the seriousness of Conceptual art, but how did you arrive at the idea of the singing? And did you rehearse?

What’s the one thing an artist must never do? And, apart from questions like these, what is your definition of a bad art idea?

Harold Brodkey once said that people don’t like to be outshone—they’ll kill you if it bothers them enough. How have you managed to avoid this in your work?

John Baldessari, Noses & Ears, Etc.: Blood, Fist, and Head (with Nose and Ear), 2006.

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