Skarstedt is thrilled to announce the opening of a new gallery space at 8 Bennet Street in London, launched by a joint exhibition of two of the most dominant figures in contemporary art, Cindy Sherman and David Salle. The two authors, influential for the Pictures Generation movement of the mid- 1970’s and 80’s in New York, were both inspired by the media-dominated era and both drew inspiration from the existing imagery. The joint exhibition titled Cindy Sherman and David Salle: History Portraits and Tapestry Paintings will feature works of Salle’s painting series Tapestry paintings and Sherman’s History Portraits, allowing us a glimpse to view historical sources and paintings as a starting point and inspiration for the layering in both of their works as well as a renewed perspective to consider the significance of the artists’ earlier works and their influence on subsequent generations of artists.
First exhibited in London at Waddington Galleries in 1989 and Gagosian Gallery, New York in 1991, David Salle’s Tapestry Paintings are considered to represent the most accomplished body of work by the artist. Exhibiting a richness of imagery and compositional sophistication, the paintings are a pastiche of 16th and 17th-century Italian and Dutch genre styles. The background imagery draws inspiration from the narrative scenes of historical tapestries as much as from the tapestries made by an anonymous Russian tapestry-maker whose images Salle found as reproductions in a magazine. Presented on a grand scale, the series deliberately avoids the narrative tendencies of their sources and in return provide us with the simultaneity of styles. The complex layering of the paintings surface emphasizes the primacy of seeing since the rhythm of the surface, eye distils as it zooms in and out of focus.
Throughout her extensive body of work, Sherman has assumed the role of both the model and creator of her images. She concentrates her artistic production on the creation of images that would play up to different clichés, regarding a certain genre of paintings but more importantly to question and reflect upon the male-attributed gender stereotypes. In her series History Portraits, the inspiration is taken from noble historical paintings of the renaissance, baroque, rococo and neo-classical periods and painted portraiture by Raphael, Caravaggio, Ingres among others. Suggesting the art of painting, Sherman’s re-interpretations of the famous portraiture featured in this series are full of theatricality and artifice, calling into question the nature of representation throughout art history.
In the historical quarter of London, the new space of the Skarstedt Gallery, designed by Thomas Croft Architects, is over 4,000 square feet, allowing Skarstedt to continue with its program of historically researched and museum-quality exhibitions. The joint exhibition Cindy Sherman and David Salle: History Portraits and Tapestry Paintings features some of the most celebrated works by the two artists allowing the public to reflect and explore the shared visual strategies and the performative aspects central to the artists’ works. The opening reception is on 30th September, 6-8 pm and the exhibition will last from 1st October until 26th November 2016 allowing the London’s public to enjoy and experience the continued importance of both Sherman’s and Salle’s visual modes and styles for the creation of contemporary thought and practice.
All images courtesy of Skarstedt Gallery London. Featured image in slider: David Salle (b.1952) - Lampwick’s Dilemma, 1989 , acrylic and oil on canvas, 94 x 136in(239 x 345.5 cm.), © David Salle, Courtesy of Skarstedt. Cindy Sherman and David Salle: History Portraits and Tapestry Paintings is at Skarstedt, London, from 1st October – 26th November 2016, www.skarstedt.com.