Hilary Pecis - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction Hong Kong Sunday, November 28, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Only recently transitioning to making art full time in 2019 after balancing a full‐time job with being a new mother, Hilary Pecis’ paintings are a love letter to sun‐drenched Los Angeles. With imagery taken from an archive of personal snapshots from hikes, visits with friends, and her own surroundings, Pecis crafts still lifes and landscapes saturated with pattern and colour, reproducing the essence of Southern California.



    The artist and her work, 2020
    Photo Amanda Friedman. Courtesy the artist, Hilary Pecis 


    Within her paintings a sort of portraiture takes place, as loosely strewn objects plucked from the domestic everyday point to coded aspirations, allowing a glimpse into the small pleasures and desires of those being depicted. Thus, Pecis undertakes an anthropological study in which 'objects either define who they are or who they aspire to be'.i Chronicled in her paintings are morsels of humanity which allude to the habits of their occupants, such as a plate of almonds, a book of poetry, a series of catalogues stacked haphazardly on a warm coffee table, or a cat lazing on a lopsided couch.


    Pecis’ outdoor scenes feature mountains dappled with gold, acid‐washed skies tinted with streaks of pinks and oranges, and desert plants so deftly rendered that their crunching leaves and peach‐fuzz texture are palpable to touch. As Helen Molesworth has commented, 'She’s kind of like our David Hockney… There’s that free, Laurel‐Canyon pool, everyone‐ sleeps‐with‐everyone version of LA – the David Hockney version of LA. Then there’s the domestic LA, where there’s a bowl of oranges in the corner and you’re looking at a book about Bob Thompson, having your matcha tea – and you are slower than your friends in New York'.ii Pecis’ looseness of composition and keen inscription of details embody a dreamy languor rooted in the quotidian which relishes the pleasures of simply being.



    David Hockney, Large Interior Los Angeles, 1988 
    Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 


    The current work, Beverly, shows a quiet scene washed by a soft haze across the sky. Demarcated by strong horizontal strips of the building, Beverly reminds viewers of the infinite expanse of land in Southern California, in which the few exceptions in verticality rest in the upright stance of slim palm trees. Stains on the pavement and the walls rejoice in the imperfection of human touch, while the slight tremble of outlines suggest an atmostphere thick and vibrating with heat. As the perspective stretches toward the viewer, the suggestion of a parked car transports the viewer into the scene itself.


    Pecis is represented by David Kordansky Gallery, Halsey McKay Gallery, Rachel Uffner Gallery, and Spurs Gallery. She has had numerous solo exhibitions, including at the Crisp‐ Ellert Museum, Florida; Halsey McKay, New York; The Pit, Los Angeles; and Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco. She has also been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco and Torrance Art Museum, California. She was the recipient of the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship in 2008 and is the co‐founder of Binder of Women, a collective of female artists based in Los Angeles. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.



    i Nancy Gamboa, 'Hilary Pecis captures the layers of Los Angeles' landscapes', Cultured Magazine, 23 June 2021, online

    ii Taylor Dafoe, '"She’s kind of like our David Hockney": How Hilary Pecis Set the Art World Aflutter with Charming Paintings of Los Angeles', Artnet News, 10 June 2021, online

    • Provenance

      Private Collection (acquired directly from the artist in 2018)
      Private Collection
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Artist Biography

      Hilary Pecis

      Hilary Pecis (b. 1979) earned a BFA and MFA from the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. She is well known for her densely decorated domestic scenes, tablescapes, and Southern California landscapes. Her canvases are saturated with color and a geometric quality defines the recognizable shapes and objects found throughout her compositions.

      Pecis has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Rockefeller Center, New York (2021); Timothy Taylor, London (2021); Spurs Gallery, Beijing (2020); Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York (2020); and Crisp-Ellert Art Museum, Flagler College, St. Augustine, Florida (2019). Recent group exhibitions include 13 Women: Variation I, Orange County Museum of Art, Costa Mesa, California (2022–2023); Present Generations: Creating the Scantland Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio (2021); FEEDBACK, The School at Jack Shainman Gallery, Kinderhook, New York (2021); L.A.: Views, Maki Gallery, Tokyo (2020); High Voltage, The Nassima-Landau Project, Tel Aviv, Israel (2020); and (Nothing but) Flowers, Karma, New York (2020). Her work is in the permanent collections of institutions including the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio; Aïshti Foundation, Beirut; and Yuz Museum, Shanghai.

      View More Works



signed, titled and dated 'Hilary Pecis "Beverly", 2017' on the reverse; further signed 'Hilary Pecis' on the stretcher
acrylic on canvas
61.5 x 46 cm. (24 1/4 x 18 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2017.

Full Cataloguing

HK$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for HK$1,764,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction

Hong Kong Auction 29 November 2021