DS: The point about style is that it’s the ultimate vacuity. All the time you’re looking at it the meaning is drawing away from it. That’s the aesthetic experience we were describing and that’s not the way most people approach the problem of style. They might come to your work or my work and feel it’s been drained off.

JW: You got there too late. With my work the capacity for uncertainty seems to work against provisional readings of the work, continually and ideally rupturing intention and effect so as to rediscover it in another realm.

DS: I make a painting and it’s about all the paintings I won’t make or couldn’t possibly see my way clear to make. The image is held in a nexus of won’t and can’t, like something always held away from you, successively distanced, and that inversion of intention makes sense if you see the aesthetic as something which is really about loss and longing rather than completion.

— David Salle & James Welling, “Images That Understand Us: A Conversation with David Salle and James Welling” in LAICA Journal 27, June-July 1980.