David Salle Thinking, Looking, 2020
A recurrent feature of David Salle’s artistic practice is the apparent disjunction between a painting’s immediate visual impact and our analysis of its individual elements over time. As
the viewer becomes better acquainted with the work, subtle variations in the painting’s formal and emotional tones begin to emerge from the surface. This aspect is suggested by the title of the work itself. In Thinking, Looking (2020), Salle combines representations of a pop-like foreshortened ham and cheese sandwich, a tissue box, a row of cups with a female figure surrealistically nestled in coffee, a couple from the New Yorker magazine, an elegant rose and more abstract motifs, a striped ground and a Picasso-like head. Stripped from their original context, each element is chosen and organised as part of a larger composition that as a whole emanates a sense of movement, energy and poetry.