Joshua Liner Gallery is pleased to announce our first solo show with Los Angeles-based artist, Hilary Pecis. New Paintings will present new works from the artist, all acrylic on canvas. Using her work as a window into the artist’s world, the works in New Paintings will capture Pecis’ personal memories while honoring and referencing the larger tradition of the painting medium. Still lifes, landscapes, and interior scenes will all be included, all recreations of her surroundings. An opening reception will take place Thursday, April 20 from 6-8pm, with the show running through May 20, 2017. The Artist will be in attendance for the reception.
After spending the majority of her life in Northern California and in San Francisco, Pecis and her family responded to the towering rent hikes, with a move to Los Angeles. With this lifestyle and physical change, her work took on a new focus. Previously using her practice to create new worlds, the artist is now using her own surroundings as the inspiration.
The title of the show New Paintings is both broad and descriptive for Pecis, as the medium of painting is a real inspiration for the show. As we see in Front Window (2017), the focal point of the foreground is her collection of pigments and paint, which serve as a colorful starting point for this body of work. References to the larger genre can be found throughout her subject matter: from these studio interiors, to the interior of the Guggenheim’s recent Agnes Martin retrospective, in Museum (2017). With all of her works in this body, we see the medium as its central motivation. Pecis explores and combines the formal aspects of painting with her own techniques and subjects. These painted snapshots are specific moments, photographs, and memories, coming out of her own experiences, all chosen for their formal attributes. Recreating her experiences with the help of acrylic and canvas, allows the Artist to remember and understand these moments. Pecis explains:
"They (the new paintings) are experiences that I have or otherwise would have memorialized with a social media posting. The images I find compelling for a number of reasons: either the color or the lighting or composition. I use the images as a starting point to make a painting and explore the medium. Additionally, I use the painting as a way to make sense of my experiences.”
Formally, Pecis' dedication to painting comes to us through in her manipulation and treatment of the medium itself. Her work is as much about the process, as it is about her subjects. Perhaps even more so, with brushwork creating a physical presence for each of the objects within her narratives. Bottles of wine and hot sauce, along with hints of people, open the viewer up to a local eatery in New Year’s Day (2017), while the empty plates and wine glasses of the Dinner Party (2017) imply we have arrived too late to the meal. The application of paint flows tightly and precisely, through her scenes, leaving precise lines that remind us that the objects in these still lifes are here to showcase her technique. Each demarcation of the brush is defined while maintaining the organic texture of the painted surface. The direction of her paintbrush employed to highlight the works’ space and objects.
Continuing her play with the medium, Pecis exploits her freedom to manipulate perspective. Without traditional chiaroscuro to create depth through shadows, the artist plays with perspective and color to create space and depth, questioning our own visual expectations. In Dinner Party, the pattern of the tablecloth is stretched and elongated to extend beyond the bottom edge, as is the outside floor of Gus’s Jerky Shop (2017), their patterns serve as our main device for perspective, each one pulling us beyond the canvas, challenging us to examine the exact point from which we are spying. Sensing influences from painting masters such as Manet and Gaugin, Pecis’ manipulation of the works’ perspectives, create new balance for her universe. It these modifications of her world we see her creative and personal translations engage and hold the viewer.
Hilary Pecis received both her BFA (2006) and her MFA (2008) from San Francisco’s California College of the Arts. The artist has had numerous gallery shows in San Francisco, including a 2016 Guerrero Gallery solo exhibition, a 2014 show at Parklife Gallery, and a 2012 solo at Halsey McKay, East Hampton, NY. Pecis has been included in many group exhibitions including most recently at Charlie James Gallery (Los Angeles), V1 (Copenhagen, Denmark) in 2014, and the Torrance Art Museum (Torrance, CA), 2010. This will be Hilary Pecis’ first solo show at Joshua Liner Gallery, as well as her first solo in New York City. The Artist currently lives and works in Los Angeles.