April 3 - 26, 2014
Prole Drift is pleased to present Dead Reckoning, recent paintings by Saul Becker. The show opens First Thursday, April 3, 6-8pm, and continues through April 26.
Dead Reckoning is Becker's allusion to navigation and the process of deducing one's position based on fixed points and assumptions. The show features work from several past residencies. One group is from a residency in the Arctic, called The Arctic Circle, which took place on a 120-foot, ice-class schooner that explored the region of Svalbard, roughly between Greenland and Siberia. The second residency took place at the Shandaken Project in the Catskills in upstate NY.
As a contemporary landscape painter, Becker makes work that is both genuine and deceiving: genuine in his use of a traditional genre without derision, and deceiving in his ability to make discoveries within this tried and true realm.
"For many, painting a landscape might seem like an unusual choice for a painter in contemporary society, but for me, there is a major shift in the way people are relating to the environment and therefore a return to landscape is warranted. The places I’m drawn to for imagery are often the sites where naturalness seems most contested; superfund sites, defunct mines, polluted waterways, or sites of violent geologic activity—sites that don’t easily fit into our pastoral notions and mix uneasily with culture.
Both bodies of work consist of mostly small 'drawings' which I produce very quickly working with watercolor, ink, gouache, and transfers from my photographs which are digitally manipulated. These small works are a way for me to get into the places visually and start finding recurring images or subjects to later pursue on a larger scale. These small works blur the line between photography, drawing, and painting, not easily being categorized by any of these mediums, but for me, functioning as sketches."