Saul Becker’s large-scale oil paintings use a technique that references multiple real locations to create imaginary places that hint at the primordial and phantasmagorical. Part of a group show called Absence, this work is being shown among a host of unpeopled landscapes—a visual document that savors and mourns things abandoned.
“I’m always trying to create spaces that are slippery, out of reach, hard to hold on to,” Becker says. “The imagery from Slash Piles comes from some family property on the Olympic Peninsula. It was a patch of forest that had been logged in order to pay for a relative’s Alzheimer’s treatment. The clearing was a blight on a place I love and at the same time represents, to me, the disappearance of memory. As personal as that is, I think that slash piles are a very Pacific Northwest kind of scenery. I think of them as a peculiar kind of garden.”