Assemblage of found objects: salvaged wood frame, four portrait photographs of African American females, nine thread samples, and one hand mirror hanging on a decorative brass hook to the viewer's right of the frame.
From Betye Saar's series "Colored -- Consider the Rainbow," begun in 2001 in which she tackled the issue of racism through works focusing on skin tone and forms of discrimination and hierarchies of race within the African American community. This work references the color spectrum through actual photographs as well as pigmented thread spools, a proverb about color disctinctions, and a hand mirror inviting viewers to reflect on their own skin color.
sticker on wooden frame - Catherine Viviano Gallery, 42 East 57th Street, New York 22, N.Y.; Artist: Kay Sage; Title: Bounded on the West by the Land Under Water; Date: 1946; Medium: oil on canvas; Size: 28 x 26 inches
In pencil on wood frame - Bounded on the West by the Land Under Water, 1946, Kay Sage, Woodbury, Conn. 1963/2.1
Four spare industrial structures rise at different angles into an empty landscape. On the viewer's right, a scaffolding rises from the lower corner and angles to the left. On the left, another scaffold structure runs from the bottom corner along the left edge. In the middle, a building-like structure rises from the bottom of the composition and leans into the visual space, resting on a long rectangular solid that is draped with a cloth.
An expansive, lonely, empty space is occupied only by the spare presence of scaffolds and buildings whose physical structures do not quite make logical sense. The image expresses the melancholy, desolateness, and crazy logic potential in human-made landscapes, like industrial sites and cities.
ON RECTO. Painted text on open book page, upside down to viewer: 27 / Peter ____field? is? / to the earf__nec ________ / by his own Ende__d / enclosed Le? vel__ __ ____ / tri____ f___t ________ / Deposited for collection records
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.