With uncommon discipline and a meticulous hand, Nicole Phungrasamee Fein challenges the conventional use of watercolor and defies the limitations normally associated with the medium. Fein lays down one horizontal band of watercolor at a time, slowly building fields of complex, luminous color. They are at once emphatic and ethereal, reductive and quietly expressionist.
These highly disciplined works require absolute focus and patience. Slowing down is fundamental to what I do. I use processes that are technical, but the essence of the work is not the technique—it’s the process of slowing down and building something in a step-by-step, iterative manner. That is my approach to every day.
Fein (b.1974, Evanston, IL) lives and works in San Francisco. Her recent exhibitions include Notations: Contemporary Drawing As Idea and Process, Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, St. Louis, MO and Drawn/Taped/Burned: Abstraction on Paper, from the Sally & Wynn Kramarsky Collection, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY. Fein’s drawings are included in numerous public and private collections including: Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA; The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, HI; the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; The Menil Collection, Houston, TX; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; University of Richmond Museums, Richmond, VA; and, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.