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Collage

15/02 2014 – 22/03 2014


Mendes Wood DM is pleased to present Collage, the first solo exhibition of American artist David Salle in Brazil. The show in São Paulo will be an international debut of a new series of 15 collages along with a selection of paintings. It highlights a body of work which represents a new direction Salle has been developing in recent years which applies the juxtaposition principles made possible by the collage. 

David Salle has been exhibiting worldwide since the late 1970s. He has participated Documenta 7 (1982), Venice Biennale (1982 and 1993) and Whitney Biennial (1983, 1985, and 1991) among many others international expositions. Salle is considered as one of the princpal figures of what later became known as the Pictures Generation of the 80s in the United States. Alongside major artists such as Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, Cindy Sherman, all of whom deal with forms of appropriation from mass media, David Salle developed a very singular pictorial grammar nourished by the great tradition of painting. 

Salle drew creativity from his incredibly rich visual vocabulary largely from existing pictures taken out of glossy magazines. Employing the postmodern technique of pastiche, Salle's imagery laden work, tends to appropriate ready-made forms in a single canvas. His painting combines different technics and motifs brought together in several modes of representation. Grids, figures, words, abstract objects... his visual system plays with formal and conceptual juxtapositions. 

Working with a variety of media, Salle creates an assemblage with manifold cultural references. From art history models to advertisements and everyday culture, everything is turned into material for Salle's artistic syntax. This allows different narratives and styles to cohabitate on a common surface.

Since the mid-80s, Salle's work regularly included elements and allusions to other artistic canons ranging from the Baroque painters, to the Post-Impressionist Cézanne, to Magritte or Francis Picabia and to American post-war art. This quotation process together with superimposed images creates a certain effect of semantic multiplication that Salle has prolonged in his recent collages. 

Salle uses the same rules of composition, of diverse images in a grid, in his new work. With the collage entitled Brady, he has put together a black and white image of a simple golf ball, a delicate brown glass of alcohol beside the reclining body of a woman, bared breast and legs spread. Her sex open to the viewer alludes clearly to the provocative Origine du monde Courbet painted in 1866 showing a close-up view of the genitals of a woman, an image which has become 80 famous as to he banal.

The grid imposes a rhythm, straight lines follow verticality and shift the images. The collages appear to be set the wrong way round. They give viewer a certain feeling of confusion. 

In Beach, Salle includes one element, the Vortex, an elements of his pictorial language since 2004. The spiral is an anamorphic experiment placed in the center of the canvas, a distortion of motifs inspired by computer aesthetics. Technicaly speaking, the vortex is a testimony to the extreme control and authority of its author; it is a way to get an iconographic register out of a fixed moment. Instantly, the whole reference of 60s American dream reflected in the choice of imagery is distanced.

Salle uses his collisions of motifs as a way to give the painting complete autonomy, his work try to capture an emotion while liberating the gaze of the viewer. 

David Salle was born in 1952, Norman (Oklahoma). He works and lives in New York. Salle's recent solo shows include: Skarstedt gallery (New York, 2013), Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (Paris, 2013), Lever House Art Collection (New York, 2012), Galerie MET, (New York, 2011), Mary Boone Gallery, (New York, 2011), Maureen Paley (London, 2011), Beaux Arts (Hanover, 2009), Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Monterrey (Mexico, 2000), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, 1999); Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao, Spain). He participated in major groups shows such as Tony Shafrazi Gallery (New York, 2012), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (Chicago, 2011), Faurschou (Beiging, 2008), Tate Modern, (London, 2008), MARCO Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo (Vigo, 2008), Regina Gallery (Moscow, 2008) among many others.


– Estelle Nabeyrat

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