Pegan Brooke: Selected Paintings at OCHI Gallery


By Pauli Ochi
OCHI Gallery


Pegan Brooke’s paintings are quiet and virtually monochromatic except for a subtle dynamism caused by faint tone inflections and slightly iridescent pigments. The effect of these delicate discrepancies elicits sensations reminiscent of light on a body of water or caught in falling snow. And like those phenomena, the paintings have a mercurial nature, shifting color and reflection from varying vantage points and different light sources. Maintaining studios in Bolinas, California and Ketchum, Idaho, it is no wonder that Brooke’s paintings seem to capture the atmospheric qualities of both the ocean and the mountains; the paintings act as atypical landscapes in this way, reducing a scene down to the way light played on its surfaces and shifted throughout the day. 

Like the Southern California generation of Light and Space artists that came before her, Brooke is interested in exploring the nuances of light, atmosphere and material, experimenting to the nth degree with the slightest distinction in pigment and iridescence. The results combine the sensibility of a JMW Turner painting with the formal qualities of an Agnes Martin. Brooke maintains a stark and minimalist rhythm that manages to capture the sublime, transcending what the eye actually sees. Virtually impossible to reproduce digitally or in print, Brooke’s paintings demand a patient and in person audience, which they will ultimately reward with a view that is as much about experience as presentation.