Anoka Faruqee & David Driscoll: Substance and Accident


Hosfelt Gallery presents the West Coast debut of Anoka Faruqee’s newest body of work: the moire paintings. While the surfaces of these paintings appear refined and even digitally produced, closer inspection dispels that illusion, revealing the physicality both of the artistic process and of the paint itself.


Faruqee’s moire paintings refer to a common and unwanted effect of digital and print imagery, wherein overlapping patterns are mis-registered and optically confused. The patterns Faruqee produces also evoke interference effects in nature, like wave formations or magnetic fields.

Faruqee intentionally reaffirms the place of color in painting – “fighting the chromophobic impulse,” as she calls it. She says, “Color has always been associated with the decorative, as has pattern, and I hope my work undoes some of these binaries: superficial vs. deep, decorative vs. conceptual, rigor vs. pleasure, etc.”


While these paintings are insistently optical, making them requires a sustained and physical process inherently prone to unpredictability. Faruqee rakes thick wet paint with custom-made, notched trowels. Despite the ostensible order and consistency derived from the employment of a tool, mistakes inevitably occur that reveal the labor of a human hand. Drips, uneven pressure, inconsistencies in paint thickness and slips of the hand are all variables that come into play. Faruqee says,”In my work, the body is trying to be machinelike, but not succeeding. I aim for perfection in order to fail.”


There is a performative aspect to these paintings that seems to contradict the finished painting as object. While the paintings are seamless and even impenetrable, they still provide a trace of Faruqee’s momentary gestures:

“For me, a painting is finished when it asserts a presence that I can only describe as the right balance of discipline and unruliness, when its structure unravels in the act of looking. That balance might make enough perfection for you to see an enigmatic illusion, and enough imperfection to make it open, approachable and complex: real and material, human.”


Anoka Faruqee lives in New Haven, CT, where she is an Associate Professor at the Yale School of Art.


Installation Views