David Salle

(Norman, Oklahoma, 1952 - )

Poverty is No Disgrace


Oil, acrylic, charcoal and chair on canvas

98 x 205 x 20 in. (248.9 x 520.7 x 50.8 cm)

Collection of the Akron Art Museum

Museum Acquisition Fund and gift of Larry Gagosian

2000.45 c

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David Salle’s refusal to resolve disparate elements into a harmonious whole reflects a postmodernist world view that emerged in the 1980s. Modernism’s optimism, belief in progress and linear view of history no longer seemed valid in our post-industrial world. In Poverty Is No Disgrace, Salle presents a smorgasbord of images, styles and subjects from art history, raising questions about the role of painting in an image-saturated society. These include whether it is still possible to create a painting that does not reference past art and whether one style is superior to another. The nude, based on a photograph, questions the relationship of photography to painting, while the classic 1950s chair brings up the relative status and interdependence of the “fine” and “applied” arts.

Found objects
Contemporary Art