Anoka Faruqee & David Driscoll | Relative Brightness


Anoka Faruqee & David Driscoll: Relative Brightness
September 6–October 19, 2019
Opening reception: Friday, September 6, 6–9PM

Koenig & Clinton is delighted to begin the fall season with Anoka Faruqee & David Driscoll’s Relative Brightness. Faruqee & Driscoll have been collaborators since 2012; this will be their first solo exhibition as a duo with the gallery. The title of the exhibition comes from the idea that the perceived lightness or darkness of colors and objects is completely determined by context, including surrounding colors and lighting conditions. Taking up this perceptual relativity of color and value as their subject matter, Faruqee & Driscoll’s paintings reconstruct the fleeting and intangible effects of light passing through atmosphere.


Paintings presented within the exhibition build upon previous bodies of work; among their prior Circle paintings, they have exhibited two main types: ‘rainbows’ and ‘volumes.’ Their ‘rainbows’ are primarily concerned with translating spectral qualities, using low contrast juxtapositions with a white top coat, and their ‘volumes’ present seemingly solid forms built from high contrast gradients. Meanwhile, the newest works deploy a mix of these approaches to deliberately consider light, specifically the quality of twilight.


Like a rainbow, twilight is a clichéd subject matter. It is an ineffable moment of transition from day to dusk, when clarity becomes obscurity and reality gives way to abstraction. Sublimely beautiful, to be sure - perhaps one of the reasons it is a visual trope at all - twilight may be particularly compelling to painters because it is so ungraspable. Inspired by their predecessors, like Frederic Edwin Church, Martin Johnson Heade, and George Inness of the Hudson River School, Faruqee & Driscoll aspire to construe its poetic evanescence. Unlike painters before them, though, they embrace an analytical, systems-based abstraction to focus on the atmospheric, aesthetically and emotionally. This abstraction, in turn, distances preconceptions that twilight or sunsets may connote, defamiliarizing these visual phenomena.


Their approach to color and light is rigorous and their practice yields (or amplifies) several paradoxes. While Faruqee & Driscoll’s paintings evoke the transcendental, the processes they employ are methodical and calibrated. They draw digitally to model optical color mixing with an analogue output, and have built an analogue paint library to digitally manage color. A commercial-grade, industry-standard light source in the studio approximates a quality of natural light (a contradiction, as this is achieved through artificiality) at the moment of day when colors are supposedly most ‘true’ (another anomaly). Such systemic standardization is pursued in earnest to achieve what remains an elusive result: the ephemerality of color.


ANOKA FARUQEE (b. 1972, Ann Arbor, MI) and DAVID DRISCOLL (b. 1964, Steubenville, OH) are painters who began collaborating in 2012. Faruqee earned her Master of Fine Arts from the Tyler School of Art in 1997 and her Bachelor of Arts in Painting from Yale University in 1994. She is an alumna of the Whitney Independent Study Program and residencies at the Skowhegan School of Art and the PS1 National Studio Program. Her grants include the Pollock Krasner Foundation and Artadia. Currently, Faruqee is Director of Graduate Studies in Painting/Printmaking at Yale. In 2016, she curated the major exhibition Search Versus Re-Search: Josef Albers, Artist and Educator, and directed a short film about Albers’ art and teaching for 32 Edgewood Gallery at the Yale School of Art. Faruqee’s work has been exhibited in the United States and abroad at venues including, Secession, Vienna, Austria; Hall Art Foundation, Reading, VT; Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY; Schloss Derneburg Museum, Derneburg, Germany; MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY; Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA; Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Schneider Museum of Art, Ashland, OR; and Björkholmen Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden, among others. David Driscoll earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ohio State University in 1987. The duo recently held a solo exhibition at The Suburban, Milwaukee, WI and have work on view in the DeCordova Sculpture Park Biennial 2019 in Lincoln, MA through September 15, 2019. They live and work in New Haven, CT.


For further information please contact or call (212) 334-9255. Hours of operation are Thursday-Saturday, 11AM-6PM and by appointment.