One striking, insightful, precarious pairing follows another in this frankly incredible group of paintings that Salle has managed to call in. Red stippling in a recent Walter Price echoes the gray atmosphere of an Edgar Degas; abstraction by Amy Sillman looks like a color negative of Albert Oehlen’s, or vice versa; and Martha Diamond, Willem de Kooning and Brice Marden all use wavering, expressive lines — to very different effects, if you think of their individual contexts, but as mere variations on a theme when they’re side by side.
Here is a chance to view 20th-century art and sculpture through the eyes of the artist David Salle. Born in Oklahoma, educated in California, Salle came to New York in the mid–70s. By the mid–80s he was known for his diptychs and triptychs—large, compartmentalized canvases that were conceptual and cinematic.
On a recent afternoon, at the two-story Hill Art Foundation in Chelsea, the collector J. Tomilson Hill and the artist David Salle stood in front of Salle’s Reliance (1985), a painting of a person, their arms bent a sharp angles, surrounded by a yellow field. To the right was a Rubens, the stoic Portrait of a Gentleman, Half-length, Wearing Black (1628–29). Across the way was Cecily Brown’s The use of blue in vertigo (2022) and Frank Auerbach’s Head of Julia (1985).