Extending more than two metres in height, Honor Partners, 1991, is a monumental cypher by David Salle. Painstakingly recreating an array of images taken from anonymous sources, Salle presents vibrant disjunctions and visual digressions whose meanings can never be fully fixed. A closely cropped woman in black and white anchors both the composition and a series of painted knots and ropes which stretch outwards from her framed portrait. Beneath, Salle painted two inset images: to the left, a vase, and to the right, three sculpted heads from the Akan people. Even the background is a palimpsest in which layers of trompe-l’oeil posters overlap and obscure one another. Despite his appropriation of real-world imagery, Salle sees his paintings as entirely self-referential. Quoting from a variety of sources including canonical art history, popular culture, and advertising, the artist produces a layered understanding of reality, in which all images are forever colliding and jostling one another. ‘Paintings,’ he has said, ‘exist in the present tense, yet somehow, because of how it’s structured, it can move backwards through time as well … That present tense-ness is the deepest pleasure’ (D. Salle, quoted in. J. Bradley, ‘David Salle,’ Interview, 4 May 2015). Salle came to prominence against the backdrop of New York’s 1980s art scene, during which he heralded the triumphant return of painting and the rise of Post-Modernism. For Salle, all of culture is integrated , and this embrace of pastiche can be seen in Honor Partners, which temporally and geographically unites disparate imagery within one kaleidoscopic canvas.