anoka faruqee

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anoka faruqee is an extraordinarily talented artist who lives and works in l.a. she’s a conceptual artist who makes these gorgeous paintings composed of fields of interlocking brush marks. the image above is a detail of this painting (freehand fade to gray green ground”):

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the “pixels” that make up the picture reference islamic tile work (faruqee is a second-generation bangladeshi) and digital technologies and are hand-painted. the “fade” or “shadow” that appears in the paintings is effected by mixing more than a hundred subtly shifting colors for each painting.

you can see the way it works in this detail of a painting called “freehand fade to exposed gray green”:

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note the brush strokes visible in the paintings. while the paint is exceedingly flat, there’s surface texture resulting from the gesture of the mark-making.

“Each painting represents an heroic labor of inconceivable
precision, yet their scale exposes the “hand” and inevitable
irregularity in human endeavor. They are mementos of the
human ambition to understand, control and represent
phenomena — and its futility.” (from our press release)

we currently have an exhibition of faruqee’s work at our new york gallery.

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at their most basic, these paintings are about the way light moves across a surface. seeing them bathed in daylight — which modulates throughout the day — is a phenomenological experience far more compelling than anything elliason achieves. and what a treat to see these paintings in a context where you can examine the variations between paintings. i keep finding myself standing in front of a painting and being lost within it. marveling at the ability to create something so complex and beautiful. as solid and detailed and carefully constructed as the paintings are up close, they dissolve into something atmospheric a few steps away…

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an earlier, more “op-y” painting in our conference room:

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