The gallery is pleased to announce the New York solo debut of Brooklyn-based artist Saul Becker. The exhibition will feature a series of large-scale ink and gouache works on paper – the works, best described as composite landscapes, combine fragments from different places and sources to create new, invented locations.
As a contemporary landscape painter, Becker’s work is both genuine and deceiving: genuine in his use of a traditional genre without mockery, and deceiving in his ability to make discoveries within this tried and true realm. A lot takes place in his seemingly benign pastoral scenes, which conjure up fragile yet potent metaphors of loss and fleeting utopia. Often using images from memory, found photographs, and snapshots from his travels, the artist’s most recent works mine scenes such as the rusted fence overlooking the East River in his neighborhood of Greenpoint, the mountains and fallen logs in his home state of Washington, and rubble from the Albany Bulb off the coast of San Francisco, which he recently researched and documented.
Originally a landfill, the Albany Bulb – deemed toxic and neglected for many years – was covered with dirt and vegetation until the city’s homeless and artist communities claimed the site for the potential of its industrial and heavy construction detritus. In these images, there remains an uneasy tension between The Bulb’s putrid former life, the picturesque landscape, and the non-native facets of imagery merged from other sources. Together the works serve as a reminder of humankind’s love of nature for its pristine beauty, even as we continue to live heavily consumptive lives putting the things we create, use, and abandon far away so that we don’t have to know or think about them.