“Color Duets: Kaffe Fassett and Erin Le Gafill” at the Monterey Museum of Art


The Monterey Museum of Art is pleased to announce “Color Duets: Kaffe Fassett and Erin Lee Gafill”. Color Duets is a collection of paintings and textiles, with a particular focus on paired still lifes that have resulted from over 12 years of annual retreats, during which London-based Kaffe returns to his roots in Big Sur, California, to paint alongside his niece Erin. Their still lifes, created in unison, offer unique perspectives as well as a familial throughline: Kaffe and Erin’s shared ability to reveal the beauty in everyday objects through reverent repetition.

“Color Duets: Kaffe Fassett and Erin Lee Gafill”
Monterey Museum of Art Pacific Street and Virtual MMA (montereyart.org, @montereyart.org
Full event and public programming schedule at montereyart.org/colorduets/

In a redwood canyon down the Big Sur coast sits a small cabin. Each spring artists Kaffe Fassett and his niece Erin Lee Gafill share a stolen week sitting side by side at their easels to paint. During these stolen weeks, they share a decade long visual conversation that began long ago in their family home at Nepenthe. Fassett is known as a textile designer, Gafill as a landscape painter. The two share a common language in paint, and a passion for color.

Color Duets invites us behind the scenes of two artists’ vision, process, and influences. It pulls back the veil, revealing the inspiration, craft, and environment that bring new artworks into being. There are more than just two voices here. One sees echoes of Giorgio Morandi, a favorite of both artists, with his obsessive repetition of subjects and soulful chromatic grays, the color-drenched influence of Emile Nolde and his flower portraits, and the delight of color, bold pattern, and the home celebrated by Matisse.

About the Artists

Kaffe Fassett, MBE
An internationally renowned textile designer, Kaffe Fassett, MBE, began his career as a fine art painter. Throughout his life he has maintained a regular painting practice, and both his paintings and textiles have been featured in museum and gallery shows around the world. Kaffe was born in San Francisco, California, and has lived in London, England, for over 50 years. He is the author of over 50 books on textile, craft, and design. In 2018, Kaffe was appointed as an honorary Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He resides in London with his partner of 30 years, Brandon Mably, who oversees the Kaffe Fassett Collective design group.

Erin Lee Gafill
Erin Lee Gafill is an award-winning artist, writer, and teacher from Big Sur, California. She is an artist member of the Carmel Art Association, and her work is collected internationally and exhibited around the United States. In 1998, she founded the Big Sur Arts Initiative, a nonprofit arts education organization. Her 2009 memoir, Drinking from a Cold Spring, A Little Book of Hope, is also available now. She resides in Big Sur with her husband, Tom Birmingham.


Sep 25 2021 - Oct 19 2021


8:00 am - 6:00 pm

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Monterey Museum of Art
559 Pacific Street, Monterey, CA 93940


Monterey Museum of Art
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