David Salle

(Norman, Oklahoma, 1952 - )
Lives Brooklyn, New York
David Salle is best known for his bold postmodern paintings combining figuration with a varied pictorial language of multi-layered imagery. He received his BFA and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, where he studied under John Baldessari. Salle’s early work in photography and mixed media already show evidence of an interest in the underlying meanings of images in popular culture. In 1979, he begins utilizing layered images, a key strategy in virtually all his subsequent paintings.

Salle’s works are often emotionally charged; regret, hope and pessimism are all frequent subjects of his paintings. Very often Salle employs a diptych or triptych format to maximize ambiguity in his work, suggesting numerous and contradictory solutions to unlocking the meaning of his work. Bold colors, lines, text and even found objects create dynamic works combining such art historical sources as the classical nude with the dramatic power of pop culture and literary references.  

Salle also turned his hand to set and costume design, and to directing mainstream cinema. In 1986 Salle received a Guggenheim Fellowship for theater design, and in 1995 he directed the feature film, ‘Search and Destroy’, starring Christopher Walken. He is a long time collaborator with the choreographer Karole Armitage, designing sets and costumes for many of her ballets. Major exhibitions of his work have taken place at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Castello di Rivoli, Torino, Italy, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
Subscribe on Yahoo! Calendar

Yahoo Calendar Instructions:

  1. On your Yahoo Calendar page, find "Subscribed" on the left side-bar and click the "plus" sign
  2. Click "Subscribe to Other Calendars"
  3. Paste the following link in the "iCal Address" field:
  4. Choose a Display Name and Calendar Color and click "Continue"
Help with calendar subscriptions

Help with calendar subscriptions:

Most modern calendar software will allow you to subscribe to online calendars. If you have different software other than those that are listed, you can use the following URL in its subscribe feature to automatically display upcoming events:

Search the Collection

Quick Search


Advanced Search

Online Collection paid for with a grant from
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Rights & Reproduction

The use of images, text, and all other media found on this website is limited. Please review the Rights and Reproduction document for details.