New York

David Salle

Mary Boone Gallery | Uptown

The press release for David Salle’s recent exhibition of his new “Vortex Paintings” is conspicuous in its magniloquence, claiming that the spiral at the center of these ten large oil-on-linen works creates an “unprecedented sense of spatial depth.” It’s temping to attribute this hyperbole to Mary Boone and Jeffrey Deitch, the show’s copresenters, but the work’s overtly formal emphasis ultimately refers us back to the artist himself as its source. The cyclones depicted, the text continues, either “retreat into deep space” or “project off the surface,” and Salle is indeed at pains here to conjure perspectival back-and-forth.

The vortices, faces or figures digitally stirred into various degrees of illegibility, are surrounded by and overlaid with spatial cues. Here a foreshortened Cessna plane, angled as if sucked into the eddy by centripetal force; there a skinny fir tree, cutting a diagonal

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