Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Saul Becker (Burien) received his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a BFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD). In addition to Horton Gallery / SUNDAY L.E.S., NYC, his work has been featured in solo projects at Artists Space and Volta NY. He was the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in painting in 2010, and a Virginia Museum of Fine Art Fellowship in 2005, as well as a Washington State Arts Award. His work has been discussed in The New York Times, The New Yorker, NY Arts Magazine, and The Seattle Times, among others.

Saul received a 2012 GAP funding to complete Copper Plants/Growth Stunted, a group of three multimedia sculptures that rely heavily on the fabrication of plexiglass vitrines, metal bases, and electronic components for lighting and audio elements. Saul collects plants from unlikely sites and electroplates them in copper. By developing a system of electroplating each plant sample, he archives what is overlooked, undocumented and generally stepped on or built over. The grant enables him to finish this project and begin sharing it with the community.

Saul also received a 2002 GAP.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.
From the Artist

I create paintings and drawings that merge site-specific research photographs with art historical fragments and mass media imagery to construct entirely invented composite landscapes. The resulting paintings explore inherent tensions between idyllic representations of the landscape and the post-industrial realities that surround us. As a contemporary landscape painter, my work is both genuine and deceiving: genuine in my use of a traditional genre without derision, and deceiving in my ability to make intimate discoveries within this tried and true realm. I’m interested in de-laminating the traditional American notions of landscape while redirecting the conversation of landscape into contemporary dialogue. From the romanticized depictions of the Hudson River School through to dystopian images that we confront every day, my practice continually conflates competing histories and perspectives.

The places I’m drawn to for imagery are often the sites where naturalness seems most contested; Superfund sites, extreme climates, polluted waterways, or sites of violent geologic activity- sites that don’t easily fit into romantic or pastoral notions. In these works I hone an acute disquiet that portrays the landscape as eerily strong and resilient, but never heroic.

Saul Becker