David Salle

Mary Boone Gallery | Chelsea

Two of the twenty-one paintings shown by David Salle here loomed large in this three-gallery show of the artist’s work over the last two years. Both follow Salle’s most characteristic diptych format and grab-bag deployment of Modern allusions, are possessed of an easy, spoiled beauty (cold with the sense of lost innocence), and are utterly, self-consciously sentimental. Titled The Monotonous Language and We’ll Shake the Bag, the first has for its primary focus a gynecological perspective of the nude, and the second is of nudes in situ, under bedsheets. Both paintings are also quite small. Salle’s work lately seems to be getting heroically big, which doesn’t really suit his fine-tuned streamlined pitch—most effective when operating on a low, intimate, late-night-television-screen buzz.

The raw left-hand canvas of The Monotonous Language contains an abstract implosion of pink. The right

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