The Parrish has acquired three monumental paintings by David Salle that have never been seen before in the United States. Inspired by Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel paintings in Vatican City, Rome, paintings that are now part of the Parrish Art Museum's permanent collection are “After Michelangelo, The Creation; After Michelangelo, The Flood; and After Michelangelo, The Last Judgment.

The works were commissioned in 2004 by art collector Carlo Bilotti for his Museo Carlo Bilotti in Rome, to show alongside commission works by Damien Hirst and Jenny Saville and other works in his collection. Made by Salle between 2005 and 2006 in his East Hampton, NY studio, his "After Michelangelo" paintings premiered at the Rome museum in 2006, along with art by Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning and others, according to ArtNews.

Recognizing Salle’s decades-long ties to the East End of Long Island, Carlo Bilotti’s widow Margaret S. Bilotti gifted the works to the Hamptons art museum, according to the museum. The Parrish will unveil the paintings this weekend as part of its 2018-19 permanent collection exhibition “Every Picture Tells a Story.” The exhibition will be on view from November 11, 2018 to October 3, 2019. It will be the first public presentation of the works in the United States.

“We are extremely grateful to the Margaret Bilotti for this extraordinary gift,” said Terrie Sultan, Director of the Parrish Art Museum. “These monumentally-scaled paintings show Salle at his most inventive. The works add significantly to the Museum’s ability to show works by important American artists in depth, and to celebrate Salle’s connection to our community as well.”


"After Michelangelo, The Creation" by David Salle, 2005–2006. Oil and acrylic on linen, 90 x 180 inches. Courtesy Parrish Art Museum.

"After Michelangelo, The Creation" by David Salle, 2005–2006. Oil and acrylic on linen, 90 x 180 inches. Courtesy Parrish Art Museum.


A painter with a strong conceptual bent, David Salle (American, born 1952) incorporates disparate references from art history, film, literature, and religion into his work.

In the “After Michelangelo” cycle, each work comprising two panels and measuring approximately 8 feet high and 15 feet wide. Salle addresses a singular theme of the Sistine Chapel by juxtaposing references to Michelangelo’s signature paintings with a host of images culled from popular cultural, contemporary news events, and art history.

After Michelangelo, The Flood, (90 x 185 inches), Salle updated the biblical story of the deluge from the Book of Genesis with references to natural disasters such as the 2004 Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. After Michelangelo, The Creation (90 x 180 inches.), dominated by the god figure in The Creation of Adam, includes references to human ingenuity and new beginnings, with imagery of an industrial light bulb, tools, and machines.

After Michelangelo, The Last Judgment (96 x 183 inches) figures from Michelangelo’s fresco on the Sistine Chapel altar wall are overtaken by images of doom and destruction: missiles, Satan and a scythe-wielding personification of death.

Salle's art is exhibited internationally and his held by over 70 museums worldwide. They include the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, all in New York; the National Gallery (Washington, DC); Tate Gallery (London); Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam); Kunstmuseum (Basel); Musee National D'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris) and others. Salle is represented by Skarstedt with his work most recently exhibited at their New York gallery in July-August 2018.

Salle's work is part of permanent collections held by Hamptons art museums Guild Hall and the Parrish. In The Hamptons, David Salle's was exhibited in 2016 at the Southampton Arts Center in "Water Bodies," curated by Eric Fishl and David Kratz, and at the Parrish in the three person exhibition "Unfinished Business: Paintings From the 1970s and 1980s by Ross Bleckner, Eric Fischl, and David Salle." Click here to read a review of the show. On the lighter, Salle was invited to design the 2015 Hamptons International Film Festival poster. Click here to take a look.

In the newly-reinstalled Parrish Permanent Collection Exhibition, which typically occupies half of the museum's galleries, “Every Picture Tells a Story” offers viewers various avenues for experiencing contemporary approaches to narrative and figuration.

In addition to Salle’s paintings, the Parrish unveils a series of newly acquired Photorealist paintings which includes Bertrand Meniel’s depictions of everyday urban life in Breakfast at the Fairmont, 2009, and Tom Blackwell’s Morning Walk, Hampstead High Street, London, 2011.

Exhibitions within the umbrella “Every Picture Tells a Story” overview include galleries dedicated to Fairfield Porter, William Merritt Chase (1849–1916), and Louisa Chase (1951-2016) and black-and-white portraits by the documentary photographer Fred McDarrah (1926–2007) of artists that include those with a Hamptons tie including Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Charlotte Park and Elaine de Kooning.


BASIC FACTS: Three paintings from David Salle's “After Michelangelo” series will be unveiled for the first time in the United States as part of the Parrish’s permanent collection exhibition, “Every Picture Tells a Story.” The multiple gallery exhibition is on view November 11, 2018 to October 3, 2019. The Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, NY 11976.


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