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The Monotonous Language

Art © David Salle Art / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.

The Monotonous Language

Artist: David Salle (Born in Norman, Oklahoma, 1952)
Culture: American
Date: 1981
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions:
72 x 96 inches (182.9 x 243.8 cm)
Each panel: 72 x 48 inches (182.9 x 121.9 cm)
Classification: Painting
Credit Line: 50th Reunion Gift of Tom (T'66) and Charlotte Newby
Label Text:David Salle gained notoriety in the 1980s for his post-modern practice of combining figuration and abstraction with elements of modern design, language, and photography and film references. The Monotonous Language exemplifies the fundamental elements found in Salle's work: seemingly unrelated styles; odd combinations of subjects borrowed from art history and popular culture; an erotically charged female body; and imagery layered to create new, unexpected meanings. By placing unrelated but familiar images side by side, or, in some cases, on top of one another, Salle constructs complex and fragmented narratives that deny the viewer any one interpretation. He has also worked with photography, stage design, sculpture, and movie direction, all of which are reflected in Salle's cinematic aesthetic.

Provenance: Purchased by Tom and Charlotte Newby in 1982 from Mary Boone Gallery, New York, NY; gift on December 30, 2013 to Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
Object number: 2013.20.1