New York

David Salle

Mary Boone Gallery | Chelsea

David Salle’s paintings look lusher than before. The painted grounds of his canvases remain cinematic—smooth, thin stains that resemble projections—but they are more richly, even luridly pigmented. On the right panel of Painting for Eli, for instance, the contorted face and straining neck of a woman are drawn over a deep, indigo purple, while the left panel consists of a large daisy awkwardly chiseled into light wood, a concoction that is both bluntly simple and characteristically disingenuous. Post-existential eroticized angst and the emotional naiveté of stylistic awkwardness are Salle’s dominant motifs. The recent work in this show shows adventurousness and increased confidence with materials; it was, all in all, a breakthrough with mixed blessings.

All but five of these thirteen works were executed in the first two months of 1983, suggesting (among other things) that Salle has been

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