Artist and critic Mario Naves has written of Victor Pesce: “He paints pictures of simple things, but the pictures he paints are not so simple.” The subjects of Pesce’s still-life paintings are singular object–bottles, vases, boxes, plates. They are set against mottled expanses of color that can represent horizon and surface. His objects occupy space–they sit, they have gravitas, they ask us to stop and look. The paintings are small, but the scale is both intimate and vast. Pesce creates an atmospheric richness that belies the simple geometries of his objects. His objects are subjects, and they walk their own quiet line of abstraction and representation.

Pesce was born to Italian immigrant parents in Flushing, Queens, in 1938. He passed away in 2010. He took his first art classes while waiting for an Army posting in Europe. When he returned to the U.S., he joined the family business as a licensed plumber, but soon afterward enrolled at NYU to pursue an art-education degree. A course with abstract expressionist Milton Resnick strongly influenced his early work.

Paintings for this exhibit were chosen in consultation with the Elizabeth Harris Gallery.