David Salle (b. 1952)
Exit Weeping
signed, titled and dated ‘"Exit Weeping" David Salle 1993’ (on the reverse)
acrylic and oil on canvas
71 7/8 x 120 1/8in. (182.5 x 305cm.)
Painted in 1993
Dennis Hopper Collection, Santa Monica (acquired directly from the artist).
His sale, Christie's New York, 11 November 2010, lot 325.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Newport Beach, Orange County Museum of Art, David Salle: New Works, 1993.
New York, Gagosian Gallery, David Salle: Early Product Painting, 1994, no. 5 (illustrated in colour, p. 21).
Paris, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Dennis Hopper and the New Hollywood, 2008 (illustrated, p. 123). This exhibition later travelled to Melbourne, Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

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Alexandra Werner
Alexandra Werner

Lot Essay

‘Some images reveal something deep about how the world works; it seems as though they can access how consciousness is structured. Paintings exist in the present tense, yet somehow, because of how it’s structured, it can move backwards through time as well.’ – David Salle

Part of his acclaimed Early Product series, David Salle’s large-scale Exit Weeping is an elaborate and evocative accumulation of imagery. Painted in 1993, Exit Weeping presents a collection of seemingly incongruous images painted on the canvas: a single dishwashing glove, a packet of Newport cigarettes, a green Dodge car, a present tied with a glossy red bow and, in the centre of the canvas, a model’s torso. These are meticulously rendered with the lustre of an advertisement. Indeed, Exit Weeping itself mimics a collage, and like magazine cut-outs, each image is entirely distinct, contained within its white paper-like border. Salle juxtaposes these with more obviously painted imagery such as a paper hat or a sheer pink shawl, smaller sketches where his brushwork is apparent. Taken together, these images both interact and frustrate one another, and Exit Weeping is visually clear and logically impenetrable. Overall, Salle’s paintings propose a self-refexive pictorial poetics composed of linguistic and visual references. This is a world where significance and emotion are never fixed, but instead function at multiple registers, a defining feature of the Pictures Generation, the loose-knit and extensive group of artists who took as their subject the onslaught of mass media imagery and the construction of meaning. That Salle’s paintings prevent a single interpretation is the point; according to the critic Peter Schjeldahl, ‘The way Salle’s art ‘happens’ in the consciousness of viewers, who in a sense create it, marks him as an inheritor of Minimalist and Conceptualist aesthetics’ (P. Schjeldahl, ‘The Real Salle,’ Art in America, September 1984, p. 186). Exit Weeping stages an archaeology open to excavation whose interpretation extends beyond the physical constraints of the canvas, decentralized and boisterous.

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