Hilary Pecis paints the California of memory. Yes, she is situated in the heart of Los Angeles, and place where cultures and eras are spread across desert and mountains and basins and collide and contract in a constant motion. And her interiors and exteriors are the peaceful interaction of all those things. Her still lifes are cluttered with layers of the things we carry and keep, her exteriors and nature works the things we pass by and immersive ourselves in. 

For her new solo show, Piecemeal Rhythm, on view at Timothy Taylor, London, I can't help but think of how she balances the personal intimacy of domestic life and the mini escapes we made out into the world over the last year. It's a quiet LA here, but one that is very considered and moves at a slow pace. "There’s a rhythm within my paintings: each work has a certain wonky quality, a fluidity that I try to keep throughout the process," Pecis says of the works in the show. "There’s much more magic in not knowing how it will all end up." That is where the memory comes in; what we remember of our surroundings as they were before or how we want to look as we emerge again. 

In her feature in our Summer 2021 Quarterly, Pecis said "I enjoy portraiture, but the closest I can get to a portrait is by painting someone’s surroundings. I think it can be as personal as a painting of their face." These indeed feel like very personal work, as if a body or face would obstruct what we learn from her process. As she her career has grown, as the scale of the works have got larger and the density of these personal touches have increased, Pecis is having a conversation about what it means to not only be a California painter, but what it means to reimagine the conversation about 21st century modernism. —Evan Pricco