On 7 May 2011, Mary Boone Gallery will open at its Chelsea location an exhibition of new paintings by DAVID SALLE.
A prominent, recurring element of these optimistically bright and emotionally complex paintings, and a new device in Salle’s work, is the image of an empty canoe or raft adrift on placid water. Loosely adapted from the 19th Century river scenes of George Caleb Bingham, the boats, water, and abutting wedges of landscape delineate a horizon and deeply receding pictorial space. Perhaps as surrogate for the Artist or viewer, vibrant monochrome Adirondack chairs with arms open, always empty, face out toward this vista.
The overall composition of the paintings is completed by panels reprising the iconic women of Salle’s 1980s paintings. Each woman lifts her body from the ground in an act of physical exertion -- not unlike that required to push a boat from shore. In other works, straining arms appear detached and superimposed directly upon the water views, a bodily presence that resonates among Salle’s enigmatic references of hats, chairs, boats.
The disparate elements of Salle’s paintings all have a calibrated emotional weight that prescribes their positioning, scale, and inventive color. The resulting palette of associations is used by Salle, somewhat paradoxically, to give these paintings their clarity and make them true to contemporary experience.
The exhibition, at 541 West 24 Street, will continue through 25 June 2011. A fullyillustrated catalogue of the show, with an essay by John Haskell, will be available at the Gallery. For further information, please contact Ron Warren at the Gallery, or visit our website www.maryboonegallery.com.