Thursday, July 23, 2009
David Salle ~ Pastel
David Salle painted Pastel in 1986. Some would say that his work is figurative and indeed this painting hangs in a gallery of the Portland Art Museum's Center for Modern and Contemporary Art of works from the 1980's when artists had tired of abstract expressionism and minimalism. Salle's paintings take images from the world around him and mix them together in what some say is an assemblage of painting. Others call it Pastiche, "a work or style produced by borrowing fragments, and motifs from various sources, a hodgepodge." This painting is large 84 by 162 inches and done in oil and acrylic.
Scale is an important element of viewing art from a photographic image. Even though I've given the dimensions of Pastel it can be difficult to comprehend its size. To give you a better idea of how large this work actually is I'm including an image of the Portland Art Museum's previous director, John Buchanan, sitting in front of it. The photo of Buchanan was included as part of an article written about him after he accepted his current assignment as the head of San Francisco's Fine Arts Museums in 2006. The question lingers as to why Buchanan picked this painting for the press interview photograph. It could have been the coincidence of one of the few benches in the CMCA was handy or the size of the painting or the images and colors of the painting – something to ponder as you're viewing Pastel either here on the internet or at the Portland Art Museum.