Anoka Faruqee

Zolla/Lieberman Gallery

As this recent show demonstrates, painting can still serve as color’s laboratory, with pattern one of its most powerful investigative tools. Anoka Faruqee breaks down painstakjngly observed hues according to specificity and difference and combines the captured colors in sequences rich with optical intrigue. Take, for example, Banana Painting, 1999. It originates with something reminiscent of an exercise from Painting 101: Faruqee observed a banana over time, transcribing its tone each day as accurately as possible. The resulting color studies, out of sequence, became source material for a painting, a field of very narrow vertical stripes. Her interest was not to chronicle the temporal journey of a banana from green to black; instead, she used her recovery of seemingly infinite shades of chartreuse and gold to create a compelling abstract image that is still somehow inexorably rooted in

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