How to See: Looking, Talking, and Thinking about Art

How to See: Looking, Talking, and Thinking about Art

by David Salle


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A master class in contemporary art by one of the preeminent painters of our time.

How does art work? How does it move us, inform us, challenge us? Internationally renowned painter David Salle’s incisive essay collection illuminates the work of many of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Engaging with a wide range of Salle’s friends and contemporaries—from painters to conceptual artists such as Jeff Koons, John Baldessari, Roy Lichtenstein, and Alex Katz, among others—How to See explores not only the multilayered personalities of the artists themselves but also the distinctive character of their oeuvres.

Salle writes with humor and verve, replacing the jargon of art theory with precise and evocative descriptions that help the reader develop a personal and intuitive engagement with art. The result: a master class on how to see with an artist’s eye.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393248135
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 10/18/2016
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

David Salle’s paintings are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery in Washington, DC, the Los Angeles County Art Museum, Tate Modern, the National Galerie Berlin, and many others. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Acknowledgments 11

Part I How to Give Form to an Idea

The How and the What Alex Katz 15

A Modern-Day Action Painter Amy Sillman 23

Painting with Its Own Megaphone Christopher Wool 27

The German Miracle: The Work of Sigmar Polke 35

The Heart Is Not a Metaphor Robert Gober 43

The Good Student Albert Oehlen 51

A Guy Named Frank Dana Schutz 57

Change Is Hard Roy Lichtenstein 65

The Art of Childhood: Jeff Koons at the Whitney 75

John Baldessari's Movie Script Series 85

The Success Gene: Wade Guyton and Rosemarie Trockel 91

Part II Being an Artist

Vito Acconci: The Body Artist 99

The Petite Cinema of John Baldessari 105

Karole Armitage and the Art of Collaboration 117

The Camera Blinks 123

Old Guys Painting 129

The Grapplers: Marsden Hartley, Philip Guston, and Clyfford Still 139

Urs Fischer: Waste Management 143

Clinging to the Life Raft Jack Goldstein 153

The Art of Mike Kelley Sad Clown 159

Frank Stella at the Whitney 165

Provincialism without a Capital: The Art of Thomas Houseago 171

The Art of Appropriation Frederic Tuten 175

Part III Art in the World

André Derain and Courbet's Palette 183

Picabia, C'est Moi 193

Baby's Giant Bean 199

Lovely Music: The Art of Barbara Bloom 205

Structure Rising 211

Piero Della Francesca 223

Part IV Pedagogy and Polemics

The '80s-What Were They Good For?

A Lecture Delivered at the Milwaukee Museum of Art 229

A Talk for the First Day of Class 237

Art Is Not a Popularity Contest: A Commencement Address Given at the New York Academy of Art, 2011 249

Questions without Answers for John Baldessari 259

Credits 267

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