On 8 May 2010 the Mary Boone Gallery will open at its Chelsea location Some Pictures from the 80s, an exhibition of paintings from the 1980s by DAVID SALLE that have been borrowed from museums and private collections. In an essay for the fully-illustrated catalogue that accompanies the exhibition, Klaus Kertess has written:
The late 1970s and early 1980s witnessed a growing reconciliation of the figure with the planes of painting fostered by such artists as Jean Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente, Eric Fischl, Anselm Kiefer (and several fellow German neo-Expressionists), Julian Schnabel, and David Salle. With the exception of Basquiat and Salle, these artists propelled their figures into unified grounds and space, ranging from the loosely mimetic beaches, interiors, bullfighting rings et al that Fischl’s figures inhabit to the Surrealistinspired dream spaces Clemente’s figures waft through. Basquiat’s writerly figures and words cling more precariously to modernist flatness looking back to late Picasso and Twombly. His words are seen/read in the context of the figures and vice versa. Salle’s figures, on the other hand, are seen in no context to the real world, only within the context of the painted plane they inhabit. The figures and various furnishings (physical ones occasionally appended to the canvas plane and/or painted ones) float in a kind of nowhere space. The figures are readily read as liberated from the illusion of coherent three-dimensional space and/or as alienated from the ground of realism. Willingly or unwillingly they have been divorced from the grounds that would endow them with a coherent meaning and give them a context in which to fulfill comprehensible narrative expectations. They have been expelled from the garden of realist illusion onto a vacillating stage of indetermination. Their freedom alternately liberates and encumbers their existence. Salle’s protagonists are slippery; they refuse to conform to conventional narrative expectations. They are the unforeseen consequence of improvisation.
The exhibition, at 541 West 24 Street, will run through 26 June 2010. Please contact Ron Warren at the Gallery if we can be of further assistance, or visit our website www.maryboonegallery.com.