David Salle helped define the post-modern sensibility by combining figuration with an extremely varied pictorial language. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at museums and galleries worldwide, including the Whitney Museum of American Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; MoMA Vienna; Menil Collection, Houston; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; and the Guggenheim, Bilbao.
His paintings are in the collections of many major museums, both here and abroad. Although known primarily as a painter, Salle’s work grows out of a long-standing involvement with performance. Over the last 25 years he has worked extensively with choreographer Karole Armitage, creating sets and costumes for many of her ballets and operas. Their collaborations have been staged at venues throughout Europe and America, including the Metropolitan Opera House; the Paris Opera; Brooklyn Academy of Music; and the Opera Deutsche, Berlin. In 1995, Salle directed the feature film Search and Destroy, starring Griffin Dunne and Christopher Walken. Salle is also a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books. His collection of essays How to See: Looking, Talking, and Thinking about Art, was published by W. W. Norton in 2016