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Untitled (Dark Red)

Accession Number
1997/1.137

Title
Untitled (Dark Red)

Artist(s)
David Salle

Object Creation Date
1978

Medium & Support
acrylic, graphite, charcoal and diamond dust on canvas

Dimensions
52 in x 72 in (132.08 cm x 182.88 cm);53 1/8 in x 73 1/4 in (134.94 cm x 186.06 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of the Lannan Foundation in Honor of the Pelham Family

Label copy
“Because painting is so charged, so weighted down by history, so lumbering, so bourgeois, so spiritual—all these things that had made it seem so incorrect—I came to see this is what gave painting such potential.” 
David Salle played a major role in the resurgence of large-scale figurative painting in the early 1980s, and his work—filled with art-historical references and ambiguous juxtapositions of both original and appropriated imagery—helped define the terms of what came to be known as postmodern painting. In this early work, Salle brings together such diverse painterly vocabularies as Color Field, Pop, and the noir-tinged realism of Edward Hopper. Approached with an air of clinical detachment, individual images, styles, and movements emerge as so many positions to be occupied, emptied of their historical specificity. Relationships are implied but narrative is subverted through abrupt changes in scale and a flattened out, depthless pictorial space. And while Salle’s renderings are notable for their graphic clarity, the painting’s refusal to describe a coherent internal space mirrors the channel-surfing media environment that has come to dominate contemporary life.
Jacob Proctor, Associate Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art
-----------------
6/28/10
David Salle (United States, born 1952)
Untitled (Dark Red)
1978
Acrylic, graphite, charcoal, and diamond dust on canvas
Gift of the Lannan Foundation in Honor of the Pelham Family
“Because painting is so charged, so weighted down by history, so lumbering, so bourgeois, so spiritual—all these things that had made it seem so incorrect—I came to see this is what gave painting such potential.” 
?David Salle
David Salle played a major role in the resurgence of large-scale figurative painting in the early 1980s, and his work—filled with art-historical references and ambiguous juxtapositions of both original and appropriated imagery—helped define the terms of what came to be known as postmodern painting. In this early work, Salle brings together such diverse painterly vocabularies as Color Field, Pop, and the noir-tinged realism of Edward Hopper. Approached with an air of clinical detachment, individual images, styles, and movements emerge as so many positions to be occupied, emptied of their historical specificity. Relationships are implied but narrative is subverted through abrupt changes in scale and a flattened out, depthless pictorial space. And while Salle’s renderings are notable for their graphic clarity, the painting’s refusal to describe a coherent internal space mirrors the channel-surfing media environment that has come to dominate contemporary life.

Subject matter
In this early work, Salle brings together such diverse painterly vocabularies as Color Field, Pop, and the noir-tinged realism of Edward Hopper. Approached with an air of clinical detachment, individual images, styles, and movements emerge as so many positions to be occupied, emptied of their historical specificity.

Physical Description
Two nude women, a telephone, and a car crash are rendered in graphite on a red ground. Any suggestion of narrative is subverted through abrupt changes in scale and a flattened-out, depthless pictorial space.

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
figure painting

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Color-field
Figures
Portraits
Postmodern
automobiles
car
man
modern and contemporary art
nudes
nudes (representations)
telephone
telephones

& Author Notes

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