|DAVID SALLE + ANILA QUAYYUM AGHA
at the Dallas Contemporary opens April 9th
at Todd Camplin
After the last dumpster is filled with the remains of Loris Gréaud’s show at the Dallas Contemporary,
there will be room for something we can look forward to seeing. That is, of course, the works by
David Salle and Anila Quayyum Agha.
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|David Salle was one of the first artists I identified with when I became aware of the greater art
world. On more than one painting I attempted to copy his style before looking for my own voice.
I came across his work in a contemporary art class as an undergraduate and then I continued
to research and look for his work in museums and gallery exhibitions. Unfortunately for me I have
seeN very little in person by Salle, so I am extremely excited that the Dallas Contemporary has
shown the wisdom to bring him to us. On April 9th, Thursday, he is going to be here to give a
talk and I am seriously thinking of skipping my day job just to go hear him. David Salle’s paintings
remix most of the late 20th century art into single art pieces. For Salle, originality is a myth and
one can only reshuffle the iconic artists’ styles and pay homage to their images. Thus he creates
something new with his montage paintings. I can imagine Salle thinking about Alex Katz when
painting some of his washed out portraits of women. Paintings of bodies pressed to canvas are
clear references to Franz Kline. His abstract areas reference much of the development of artists
working like Jackson Pollack. However, these easy references are not completely copied but
stylized from the source. Much like the Baroque artists looked to the Renaissance artists for style
and form, Salle looks to late Modern for his. So does just about every other artist these days, at
least Salle is deadpan straightforward about his use of the recent past.
|Anila Quayyum Agha is another great catch for the Dallas Contemporary. She was the first artist
to win both prizes of the Artprize out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. And for good reason, that piece,
titled Intersection, is simply amazing and I can’t wait to see it installed at DC. Intersection is the
type of work that makes a room not just a room but an experience. Anila Quayyum Agha is
originally from Pakistan so some of the geometric iconography from Islamic culture runs through
this work. A light emanated from the center and the shadow of the patterns reflect on the wall.
I hope the DC will have a few of her drawings and paintings as well.
I failed to mention that Nate Lowman will also be showing, but I am deeply sceptical that his
work will inspire anything but more of the same shallow market art that is so prevalent at art
fairs nowadays. Lowman’s reloaded Pop has been historically soulless and his use of irony is
pretty weak. Yet, I could be pleasantly surprised, so I will cross my fingers and hope Lowman
has something thoughtful and interesting to offer for Dallas. This group of three artists will
show at the Dallas Contemporary starting on April 9th and run through August 23rd.