"We have never had such magic in the gallery," said gallery director Ronda Esser. "It's pure magic."
The installation is composed of 15 large-scale mixed-media paintings custom-made to fit the gallery's angles. Saura said they are meant to form a single 85-foot canvas mural.
"For me, the dream is someone buys all the paintings together," Saura said.
Saura typically employs an array of bright colors in her paintings, but challenged herself with this installation to stick to autumnal colors. The installation also includes a lone black-and-cream tapestry, and a painting applied directly to one of the gallery walls, adjacent to stand-alone canvas titled "Ocres."
The canvas closest to the gallery door depicts a little house that Saura says is meant to be the home "in the middle of the forest" that she moved into two years ago. As visitors move further into the gallery, Saura said, they travel a path similar to the one she walks when she leaves her home.
"To me, the forest means many things," Saura said, referring to the woods as a "companion." "I have learned to respect it."
The Pyrenees woodland surrounding Saura's home experiences a similar phenomena to that caused by the Santa Ana winds in California, with seasonal wildfires breaking out. The "Ocres" piece, painted in yellows and blacks, shows the burnt woods left in the aftermath.
Saura was originally a graphic designer and a photographer, and still employs those skills with her work today. She prepared the piece by compiling photographs of the forest, then photoshopped various elements of the different photographs together, matching up lines from different photos and piecing in trees and empty space at her choosing, creating her own little forest.
Her graphic design background comes through in the numbers, words and pieces of the paper photographs mixed into the paintings.
"For me, the paper is like my heart," Saura said. "I can't throw out the papers; always they are interesting for some reason."
Saura will be at the exhibition's opening reception Saturday evening from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Campton Gallery 451 West Broadway, 212-387-0208. "Through the Forest" runs from March 7 through March 31. Hours: Mon. to Sat. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun. 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.