Patterns and Constructs
The art of Pamela Becker is imbued with a passion for pattern and structure. This exhibition includes selections from a body of textile and fiber arts spanning several decades and several mediums.
Pamela Becker’s art is inspired by landscapes that have been part of her llife. The natural world and the built environment are alluded to in color references, patterns of motifs, and the materials the artist employs. A Year on the river documents an imaginary trip on a mythical river to its confluence with the sea. The panels are examples of Becker’s unique, ingenious engineering of cloth structures.
These fabric constructs speak to innate properties of cloth. Their layers are designed to fall open and drape slightly when unfolded and hung. Raw edges reference the woven structure of textile. Repeated motifs, done by hand, are subtly varied. A surprise is to realize that Becker’s patterned, painted fabric constructs exemplify venerable traditions of domestic handwork: sewing, embroidery, piecing and appliqué.
Concurrent with work in fabric, Pamela Becker has created a series of baskets using the wrapped coil technique. In this ancient basket-making color and design are built into the basket form as it grows. The work can be slow and demanding, requiring patience and artistry. The titles of some baskets remind us that they are responses to colors and stimuli of places known to the artist. The artist considers the baskets as boundaries of form and color separating inner and outer space.
During the past few years Pamela Becker’s work has taken a very personal direction. The Women, an ongoing series, is a gift to the memory of the artist’s mother. Each of the small fabric vessels in the group is named. This work is probably the freest and most spontaneous of Becker’s repertoire. The small bowls range from simple translucent hemispheres of stiffened cloth to larger, more elaborate forms. Their names have been chosen in response to each woman’s visual “personality”. Another group of small works are the White forms, delicate, monochromatic containers and slender cylinders that are poignant in their restraint.
The precision of Pamela Becker’s textiles and baskets as well as her love of pattern may be seen in collages made of shards of her photographs. The artist is a serious and accomplished gardener, sensitive to the hues and textures of everything around her. The photocollages reference landscapes, architecture, and seasonal change
Art made over several decades by a mature and masterful artist reveals themes that recur, habits of the mind and hand that define the style of the maker. Patterns and constructs, in their many manifestations, are the personal esthetic signatures of this artist.