Verso, inscribed in red marker on canvas over top member of stretcher, l. portion: 79.30; on canvas over lower member of stretcher, r. portion: 79.30; in black marker on canvas over top member of stretcher, r. portion: DAVID SALLE UNTITLED (DARK RED)/ 1978; to the l., white label: 1979.30/SALLE, David/Untitled/PAINTING/53 1/4 x 73 1/4 in (framed); 52 (typescript or printed by computer printer)
Two nude women, a telephone, and a car crash are rendered in graphite on a red ground. Any suggestion of narrative is subverted through abrupt changes in scale and a flattened-out, depthless pictorial space.
In this early work, Salle brings together such diverse painterly vocabularies as Color Field, Pop, and the noir-tinged realism of Edward Hopper. Approached with an air of clinical detachment, individual images, styles, and movements emerge as so many positions to be occupied, emptied of their historical specificity.