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

About the Author

David Salle’s paintings are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the Los Angeles County Art Museum, Tate Modern, the National Galerie Berlin, and many others. He lives in New York City.

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

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David Salle

A master class in contemporary art by one of the preeminent painters of our time.


How does art work? How does it move us, inform us, challenge us? Internationally renowned painter David Salle’s incisive essay collection illuminates the work of many of the most influential artists of the 20th century. 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.

  • Hardcover
  • 6.4 x 9.6 inches
  • 288 pages
  • Published: 2016

Editorial Reviews

“Lovely to read . . .  [How to See] is serious but never solemn, alert to pleasure, a boulevardier’s crisp stroll through the visual world.” —Dwight Garner, New York Times

“A trenchant and light-on-its-feet collection of critical essays . . . about art, artists, fame, and, if you read it closely enough, what it’s like to have been David Salle for all these years.” —Carl Swanson, New York Magazine

“Sharp insights and an affable tone make this collection equivalent to a hearty discussion with a mentor—recommended for anyone interested in visual arts.” —Publishers Weekly

“[A] breath of fresh air . . . Salle is the perfect art tour guide: literate, thoroughly entertaining, and insightful.” —Kirkus

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