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Hamlet Mind

Hamlet Mind


David Salle

(American, b. 1952)

Acrylic and oil on canvas

Framed: 238.1 x 302.3 x 7.6 cm (93 3/4 x 119 x 3 in.); Unframed: 228.5 x 292 cm (89 15/16 x 114 15/16 in.)

Private Collection, New York 286.1993



David Salle is known for provocative, composite paintings that take their imagery from a variety of sources including art history, film noir, theater, and pornography. The paintings usually reflect the artist's response to individual images, which he then combines intuitively. Hamlet Mind consists of a sprawling, monochromatic rendering of architectural ruins that functions as a tapestry or stage set behind the two costumed figures in the foreground. The two smaller canvases set into the larger one are derived from a group of photographs taken by Salle in the 1980s that appear as recurring motifs in his work. One depicts a pair of women dressed as harlequins. The other is a photograph printed on linen in which a blanket-draped model poses in Salle's studio. No clues relate the images to one another, and the use of separate canvases further isolates them. Salle has often insisted that his works contain no narrative, leaving viewers to create their own interpretations.

See also
Contemporary Art
Type of artwork: 

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