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The Artist Profile Archive: David Salle

The Artist Profile Archive / Online / Art

“The wall label is something that’s been written by a professional partisan advocate, so to speak,” says David Salle, commenting on the way museums explain the artist’s intention, as if that’s the point. “In contemporary art of the last 40 years or so, the artist’s intention has been privileged over the result. I always tell people, as far as my own experience is concerned, I don’t really want to know anything about their intention, just not interested.” Those who regularly read the New York Review of Books, where David Salle reviews art, know how articulate he is. Here, in the latest installment of The Artist Profile Archive series—in which artists talk process and ideas—is one of the definitive painters of New York’s “bright lights big city” postmodernism. Salle discusses his coming of age, his compositions as “scores,” how collage happens, the Sistine Chapel, painting from photographs, and more. “Perhaps art’s real value is its singularity. It’s not like other things,” he says. “It’s not shorthand for anything known. It’s precisely the opposite.” The videos are anywhere from eight to 15 minutes, and once online they remain indefinitely. Among the artists who’ve been taped so far are Chuck Close, Angel Otero, and Bastienne Schmidt. —L.J.

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