The ‘place’ to be (and to live): Hilary Pecis

Jean Baudrillard schreef eens: ‘Los Angeles houdt van zijn ongelimiteerde horizontaliteit, zoals New York het heeft voor zijn verticaliteit.’ En dan moet je die horizontaliteit beschouwen als een zin voor “slowness’, en een blijvende voorkeur voor de vlakte.
Zo begint Emmalea Russo in Artforum haar bespreking van het recente werk van kunstenares-schilder Hilary Pecis (°1979) bij een bezoek aan haar tentoonstelling ‘Come along With Me’. Beter zou je haar recent werk niet kunnen omschrijven als je die ‘Me’ verbreedt tot vrienden, kenissen, en al degenen wiens interieur of exterieur haar inspireerde. Een uitgelezen onderwerp voor deze ophok-tijden.

Favorite Vase
Hilary Pecis was born in Fullerton, CA in 1979 and lives in Los Angeles, CA. She received her Master of Fine Arts in 2009 and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2006 from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA. Pecis’ work has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at galleries such as Halsey McKay, East Hampton, NY and Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York, NY. 

Although figures don’t figure heavily, the fourteen acrylic paintings are quietly flamboyant with humanity. The viewer bears witness to Pecis’s life indirectly, via bits of accrued evidence such as plated almonds, a book of poetry by Mary Oliver or a volume on Albrecht Dürer, and a nook full of board games like Yahtzee and Scattergories—quirks of haptic occupancy that destine these scenes to hang together.  

Like her home city, the works that comprise “Come Along With Me” contain portals and egresses. There are slices of windows and/or paintings within paintings. Winter Room, 2020, for instance, is pleasantly disorienting; in it, a cat snoozes on a lopsided yellow couch, above which a picture of a Matissean interior hangs. Behind a white curtain is a view of a silhouetted palm tree, which is cut off by the edge of the canvas. In these images, everydayness is quietly made weird via kaleidoscopic pilings of textures, patterns, and apertures into and out of the space. (Emmalea Russo Artforum)

Winter Table, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 inches; (76.2 x 61 cm)

Pecis’ interest in the history of representational painting is evident throughout her work. She often includes stacks of monographs, exhibition posters, and works by other artists within her compositions, allowing Pecis the opportunity to try out different styles alongside her vernacular of making. With the inclusion of cultural and art historical references, Pecis offers a set of visual cues to the viewer that speak to specific time and place.
For example, in Morning, 2019—from the perspective of the coffee drinker—a Los Angeles Times newspaper lays atop a kitchen table adorned with a rhythmically patterned table runner, while tchotchke-esque candle holders surround a vase filled with marigolds. These details subtly offer points of entry for the viewer to reflect and form their own associations. (NY ART BEAT)

Morning 2019

In Come Along with Me, the Los Angeles based artist invites viewers to step into intimate settings and environments inspired by the Southern California light. Pecis constructs portraits of friends and family through both the interior and exterior spaces they occupy utilizing objects as signifiers for human characteristics rather than the figures themselves. The imagery in Pecis’ work comes from her archive of snapshots taken from hikes, travels, visits with friends in their homes or restaurants, and depictions of the artist’s surroundings. Rather than direct re-creations, Pecis focuses on specific details that evoke the feeling of a captured moment—taking liberties while emphasizing texture and brushstroke, color and pattern, and manipulating perspective. (Rachel Uffner Gallery)

Hilary Pecis, Outdoor Table, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 inches
Hilary Pecis: The title of the show (Come Along With Me) is an invitation to join me in visiting various places in my paintings. The paintings are all landscapes or still lifes in one capacity or another. All of my exhibitions tend to be a combination of both genres of representational painting, as I find pleasure and a challenge in each. There is always the excitement of rendering something that I am uncertain about, without over rendering, and staying within my own vocabulary of mark making. Those challenges are what tend to bring the sweetest pleasures and often unexpected results. As far as inspirations, I take a lot of photos and don't always know which will end up as reference material. I don't always feel the initial inspiration, but might circle back years later. In general, I am looking for a composition that is interesting—forcing me to look around in all directions—but I also need subject matter that is embedded with information. I want a little guidance from the image I am working from, and then the freedom to take liberties with color, line, and space. I like a little boundaries, but not too many rules. 
Still Life 6
There is a simplification of imagery and a flatness in the way that I paint that might aid in not overwhelming the viewer. But honestly, I think that it really just depends on the viewer. For me, when a painting is less busy, I feel more pressure to have a “feeling," whereas in a painting that has more noise and variation, I am liberated in how I want to move around the painting. I guess we are all just lucky that if we like paintings, there are so many different paintings we can choose to look at. (gesprek met Lizzie Cheatham Mc Niry Matrons and mistresses) 
Still life 2
I spend a lot of time looking the historic works of the decorative the painters Bonnard and Vuillard, which depict pattern as it exists on the thing being depicted. But I also like to look at painters like Derain, who applied paint in a sort of pattern to quickly render a landscape. Outside of the Modernist painters, I am often drawn to pattern in tile work, textiles, and other handicrafts, which has all make appearances into my paintings. Within a painting pattern can often aid in depicting depth and perspective, often presenting a challenge for me to work out. It also allows me to indulge the use of more color and line. (Art of Choice-Maria Vogel) 
Hilary Pecis
Sleeping Dog, 2020
Acrylic on canvas
68 x 54 inches (172.7 x 137.2 cm)
The late 19th and early 20th centuries had so many exciting artists working in such a short period. The Fauves use of color and the abstraction of space in a representational painting still thrills me to the max. Additionally, as a native Californian I have always had a deep love for for the Funk and Pop art movements. California Funk is getting a lot of attention the days, which is so well timed. The Fauves and Funk artists are on the opposite ends of abstraction, one leading into, and the other a reaction after, but both have a vibrancy that speaks to me.(ibidem) 

Of er iemand thuis is? Alvast de schrijvers, dichters, kunstenaars die op boekenruggen, prenten of stapeltjes boeken acte de présence geven. Je bent nooit alleen als je je omgeeft met diegenen die wat wij zoeken, gezocht hebben, die wat wij willen verbeelden al hebben neergeschreven of uitgetekend en -geschilderd. Uitstekend gezelschap, dag en nacht présent.

Haar vitale kleuren en fraaie vormreducties, haar zin voor detail en combinaties, haar mooie ruimte-indeling kwamen op mij heel troostend en menselijk over. Natuurlijk is er iemand thuis. Maar zij of hij is net even de deur uit of kan elk ogenblik binnenkomen. De leegte biedt net plaats voor de kijker. Je bent welkom en dat is een fijn gevoel. Je kijkt in je eigen huis rond met andere ogen. Je herkent of je begint bijna dadelijk aan een herschikking. In deze donkere maanden licht Hilary Pecis’ werk op met een geruststellende gloed.

Te bezoeken:
HOME – hilarypecis.com

Harper’s Game, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 inches (152.4 x 121.9 cm)

Gallery: https://www.racheluffnergallery.com/artists/hilary-pecis http://www.halseymckay.com/hilary-pecis-overview

Winter Table, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 inches; (76.2 x 61 cm)