The paintings in “A Relative Way” highlight a variety of styles, genres, materials and processes that typify Sall's works of recent years. Ranging from drawing-based paintings that incorporate pastels on bare canvas to more traditional oil and acrylic paintings made with brushes and palette knives to paintings made with brooms and house paint on recycled billboard vinyls, the themes of Eric's work touch on portraiture, landscape, still life and abstraction.

The works can seem quite disparate when taken out of context. What does a painting of birds have to do with a painting of dots you might ask? But they can feel quite related as well, to the point where one painting might seem to bleed into another. In fact, several of these paintings began from the same starting point: a collaboration with a ballet company. Over the course of time, the paintings developed into individual pieces that then fell into reoccurring themes. Patterns and motifs show up again and again: Plants, stripes, hands, circles, hats. Yet specific processes of drawing and painting bring together contrasting elements in unexpected ways.

The installation of the works in “A Relative Way” is intended to create a specific context to experience the paintings relatively (to each other, to the environment) while highlighting the range of works in both their similarities and in their differences. Gallery one focuses on mostly abstract works, while gallery two is hung as a portrait gallery of sorts, and gallery three displays a mixture of wildlife paintings, landscapes, flora and fauna as well as a few complete abstractions.


Time is moving too slowly. Time is moving too quickly. Painting dots again. Stripes. Wait, maybe a portrait this time. Not too much detail, but just enough. A sunset feels right. I think I'll draw something now. Lines. Circles. The rhythm of repetition is soothing. Now a hand. Empty shoes. A sign of something. Hope? Sorrow? The unknown? I need to work smaller. I need to work bigger. That feels about right. Well now, that sucks. 


Eric Sall

September 1, 2020



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