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

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


“If John Berger’s Ways of Seeing is a classic of art criticism, looking at the ‘what’ of art, then David Salle’s How to See is the artist’s reply, a brilliant series of reflections on how artists think when they make their work. The ‘how’ of art has perhaps never been better explored.” ―Salman Rushdie

How does art work? How does it move us, inform us, challenge us? Internationally renowned painter David Salle’s incisive essay collection illuminates these questions by exploring the work of influential twentieth-century artists. 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.

30 illustrations

Table of Contents

Part I: How to Give Form to an Idea
Alex Katz: The How and the What
Amy Sillman: A Modern-Day Action Painter
Christopher Wool: Painting with Its Own Megaphone
The German Miracle: The Work of Sigmar Polke
Robert Gober: The Heart Is Not a Metaphor
Albert Oehlen: The Good Student
Dana Schutz: A Guy Named Frank
Roy Lichtenstein: Change Is Hard
The Art of Childhood: Jeff Koons at the Whitney
John Baldessari’s Movie Script Series
The Success Gene: Wade Guyton and Rosemarie Trockel
Part II: Being an Artist
Vito Acconci: The Body Artist
The Petite Cinema of John Baldessari
Karole Armitage and the Art of Collaboration
The Camera Blinks
Old Guys Painting
The Grapplers: Marsden Hartley, Philip Guston, and Clyfford Still
Urs Fischer: Waste Management
Jack Goldstein: Clinging to the Life Raft
Sad Clown: The Art of Mike Kelley
Frank Stella at the Whitney
Provincialism without a Capital: The Art of Thomas Houseago
Frederic Tuten: The Art of Appropriation
Part III: Art in the World
André Derain and Courbet’s Palette
Picabia, C’est Moi
Baby’s Giant Bean
Lovely Music: The Art of Barbara Bloom
Structure Rising
Piero della Francesca
Part IV: Pedagogy and Polemics
The ’80s—What Were They Good For? A Lecture Delivered at the Milwaukee Museum of Art
A Talk for the First Day of Class
Art Is Not a Popularity Contest: A Commencement Address Given at the New York Academy of Art, 2011
Questions without Answers for John Baldessari

To access the link, solve the captcha.