David Salle painter, print maker and stage designer, born in Norman, Oklahoma. At the age of eight or nine, he began taking life-drawing classes at the Wichita Art Association. During high school, he attended outside art classes three days a week. In 1970, he began his studies at the newly founded California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, where he worked with John Baldessari. Salle began creating abstract paintings, installations, and video and conceptual pieces, in 1973 he was awarded an BFA and an MFA in 1975, both from CalArts.
Salle later moved to New York, where he supported himself by working for artists, including Vito Acconci; teaching art classes; and cooking in restaurants. He also did paste-up in the art department of a soft-core pornography magazine. When the publisher folded, Salle saved a group of stock photographs depicting nudes, sporting events, airplane crashes, and such, which he later used as source material for his paintings. An exhibition of Salle’s works on large rolls of paper was shown at Artists Space in New York in 1976. Around this time, he began experimenting with relief prints on unprimed canvas. He also made charcoal drawings on canvas of nude women in erotic poses and of objects such as telephones and airplanes. Like many artists of his generation, David Salle largely drew inspiration for his rich visual vocabulary from existing pictures. Based on models from art history, advertisements, design, and everyday culture,
His first solo show was in 1979 at the Gagosian/Nosei Webber, New York, USA. Major exhibitions of his work include Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Castello di Rivoli in Italy and the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. Solo shows of Salle’s art have been organized by the Museum am Ostwall Dortmund (1986–87), Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (1986–88), Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1999), and Waddington Galleries in London (2003), among others. He has participated in major international expositions including Documenta 7 (1982), Venice Biennale (1982 and 1993), Whitney Biennial (1983, 1985, and 1991), Paris Biennale (1985), and Carnegie International (1985). The artist lives and works in New York City and Sagaponack, New York.
He presently lives and works in New York City and Sagaponack (Long Island).