The American artist Anoka Faruqee’s abstract paintings are characterized by pulsating optical and chromatic effects. Patterns and motifs recur in her pictures as she adjusts and permutates them in apparently infinite variations in order to plumb the laws of painting. One of her central aims is to create a tension between atmospheric impressions of light and illusion and the material nature of color and paint.
In her exhibition at the Secession—her first institutional solo show in Europe—Faruqee presents selections from the Moiré Paintings, Circle Paintings, and Wave Paintings series, on which she has worked since 2012. In these works, the artist explores the optical pattern that appears where wave formations or magnetic fields interfere with each other; it can often be observed on computer screens. Critical to her methodical engagement with the phenomenon is that she conceives of pattern not as superficial decoration but as a physical structure built up of modular forms and colors. Her pictures are set apart by their subtly modeled shimmer and dynamic depth. The visually interwoven layers of the pattern are brought to iridescent life by elusive superimpositions of vantage points between movement and rest.
“I am interested,” the artist says, “in how the iteration of modular bits of information, the dissolution of figure and ground, the integration of color and form, and the use of multiple viewpoints and axes of symmetry provide a counter-history to the monocular vision of perspectival drawing and analogue photography.”*