New York

David Salle

Gagosian Gallery

The queasiness that David Salle’s most successful paintings supposedly induce has often been cited as proof of their seriousness, even of a kind of backdoor sincerity. Thomas Lawson had some encouraging things to say about Salle’s obscene or wanna-be obscene pile-ups of incommensurable images in “Last Exit: Painting,” “Meaning is intimated but tantalizingly withheld. It appears to be on the surface, but as soon as it is approached it disappears, provoking the viewer into a deeper examination of prejudices bound inextricably with the conventional representations that express them.” Salle, in fact, approaches a kind of muteness more readily associated with formalist abstraction than with his own image blitzes, but he achieves this via opposite means. Rather than by severe painterly reduction, he enforces silence through imagistic proliferation and hypertrophy. He plays a familiar post-Modern

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