Issue no. 35
Two concurrent solo exhibitions – Anoka Faruqee + David Driscoll's Datum & Nicole Phungrasamee Fein's Color Study – explore the properties and complexities of color.
Anoka Faruqee & David Driscoll, 2021P-07, 2021, acrylic on linen on panel, 33 3/4 x 33 3/4 inches photo by Liz Calvi @liz_calvi
Landsat photograph of the Lena River, 2000; Courtesy of the USGS Eros Data Center
We are able to hear a single tone. But we almost never (that is, without special devices) see a single color unconnected and unrelated to other colors. Colors present themselves in continuous flux, constantly related to changing neighbors and changing conditions.
– Josef Albers, Interaction of Color (50th Anniversary Edition)
Anoka Faruqee & David Driscoll, 2021P-23, 2021, acrylic on linen on panel, 32 x 32 inches and San Francisco Sunset
Anoka Faruqee and David Driscoll collaborate to create bewildering paintings devised of layers of carefully misaligned, concentric circles which generate optical effects. The resulting moiré — the fusion of two or more patterns which create another, much more complex pattern — echoes various natural systems, such as wave formations, stress patterns, and magnetic fields. But for the artists, the moiré phenomenon demonstrates that what we perceive as light, form and space is, at its most basic, bits of assembled data. Pixels. Atoms. Nano-particles. These paintings make the invisible tangible.
Datum, installation view
Vintage 19th-century marbled paper, Nonpareil pattern
Anoka Faruqee & David Driscoll, 2021P-11, 2021 (detail), acrylic on linen on panel, 45 x 45 inches, photo by Liz Calvi @liz_calvi
The rhythm of relations of color and size makes the absolute appear in the relativity of time and space.
– Piet Mondrian
Mosaic tile work in the Alhambra, Granada, Spain, photo: David Driscoll, 2014
Anoka Faruqee, working notes for 2015P-02, 2015, pencil on paper; courtesy of the artist
Datum, installation view; foreground: Anoka Faruqee & David Driscoll, 2021P-18, 2021, acrylic on linen on panel, 32 x 32 inches
Anoka Faruqee, color swatches from color index binder, 2017, acrylic and pencil on paper; courtesy of the artist
Given limited palettes – like CMYK or RGB – the human eye is able to process interactions between neighboring color units to create impressions of blended color. Faruqee [and Driscoll] came to understand how discrete combinations of singular colors were able to suggest literally blended colors.
– Dean Daderko, Variation and Chance from Ways of Being
Anoka Faruqee & David Driscoll, 2021P-06, 2021, acrylic on linen on panel, 33 3/4 x 33 3/4 inches, photo by Liz Calvi @liz_calvi
Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.
– Oscar Wilde
Faruqee studio view, Los Angeles, CA; Photo: Clarissa Tossin, 2010
Datum, installation view
Nicole Phungrasamee Fein restricts herself to watercolor applied to paper in the format of the square or the circle, achieving a wide variety of effects within her tight, self-imposed strictures. Fine dots of pigment, evenly distributed, mask any trace of the artist’s hand, yet these paintings are made under conditions of extreme concentration and control.
Nicole Phungrasamee Fein, Pyrrol Red Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue Cobalt Blue, 2021, watercolor on paper, 18 x 18 in
Phungrasamee Fein's garden
Veils of translucent color are applied in layers. Sometimes deliberately mis-registered, the edges reveal the component colors used to build the compositions. In other pinwheel or cross forms, the distinction between discrete and overlapping colors is more equally allocated. In every instance, these works are remarkable not only for the gorgeousness of color and mysteriousness of process, but also because of the tranquility they exude.
Nicole Phungrasamee Fein, Cerulean Blue, Chromium Scarlet Lake Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Genuine Cadmium Orange Hue , 2021, watercolor on paper, 8 x 8 inches
I found I could say things with colors that I couldn’t say in any other way – things that I had no words for.
– Georgia O'Keefe
Color Study, installation view
Josef Albers, Color Study for Homage to the Square, n.d., oil on blotting paper, 12 x 12 inches, © 2017 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/ Artists Rights Society, New York / VG BildKunst Bonn. photo: Tim Nighswander
Nicole Phungrasamee Fein, Nickel Azo Yellow, 2021, watercolor on paper, 18 x 18 inches
Color is the place where our brain and the universe meet.
– Paul Klee
Phungrasamee Fein's Garden
Nicole Phungrasamee Fein, Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue Cobalt Blue Pyrrol Red, 2021, watercolor on paper, 18 x 18 in
Flowers in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA
Everything that you can see in the world around you presents itself to your eyes only as an arrangement of patches of different colors.
– John Ruskin
Nicole Phungrasamee Fein, Cobalt Blue Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue Cadmium Red Deep, 2021, watercolor on paper,
12 x 12 inches
If one says ‘red’ – the name of a color – and there are fifty people listening, it can be expected that there will be fifty reds in their minds. And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different.
– Josef Albers
Nicole Phungrasamee Fein, Pyrrol Red Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue Cobalt Blue, 2021, watercolor on paper, 14 x 14 in
Phungrasamee Fein: Studio View
Nicole Phungrasamee Fein, Pyrrol Red Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue Cobalt Blue, 2021, watercolor on paper, 18 x 18 in
Color is uncontainable. It effortlessly reveals the limits of language and evades our best attempts to impose a rational order on it.
– David Batchelor
Phungrasamee Fein's garden
In nature, light creates the color. In the picture, color creates the light.
– Hans Hofmann
Phungrasamee Fein: color study in garden
Dusk from Phungrasamee Fein's home
Nicole Phungrasamee Fein, Ultramarine Light Sodalight Genuine, 2021, watercolor on paper, 12 x 12 inches
And all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.
– Shel Silverstein
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