Nicole Phungrasamee Fein: Foci


In her third solo show at Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco-based Nicole Phungrasamee Fein presents two new bodies of work: intricate variations on the shockingly-precise, free-hand watercolors for which she has become known, and flat "sculptures" made with ink and layers of translucent paper.


The paintings are accomplished by applying brushstrokes of water, with a tiny bit of pigment suspended in it, to paper. Multiple layers of the nearly clear water form bands in shades of grey or sepia. Each stroke represents a cycle of inhalation, breath retention during the application of pigment to paper, then exhalation. Layered, then overlapped, the bands become complex, shimmering, woven plaids. Through a process that owes as much to performance-based body art or meditation practices as it does to traditional painting, Fein creates artifacts of astonishing tranquility.


The second focus of Fein's current practice involves grids of hand-applied ink dots. Hundreds of thousands of the precise marks, made on tissue-thin paper, are layered to form swarming patterns of stupefying complexity, while maintaining a mystifying order.


Nicole Phungrasamee Fein was born in Evanston, Illinois and received her MFA in 2002 from Mills College in Oakland, CA. Fein's work has been purchased for the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York); the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; the Berkeley Art Museum (CA); the Fogg Art Museum (Harvard University); The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and many others.

Installation Views