Nick Farhi "Sills"

Nick Farhi

September 3 - Oct. 22 , 2023
17 Pike Street

WWW.WILLSHOTT is pleased to present 3 new paintings by Nick Farhi in ‘Sills’, opening September 6 - October 9.

In Nick Farhi’s paintings, the glass is neither half full nor half empty. The hyperealistic still lifes of glassware and ceramic in this exhibition depict vessels for more than just water or liquid. Through their brightly colored shadows and masterful associates of color, what looks empty is instead full of what is transmuted through the physical object. Who arranged these objects? To whom do they belong? What sentimentality do they carry? Are they someone else’s grail at the carnival?

The colorful glasses, cups, bottles, and sinks index an invisible presence through what is undeniably visible. The three latest paintings in Farhi’s series of multi-hued chalices, beginning in 2020, use brilliant color, resplendent shine, and shimmering light to draw the viewer’s attention to more than just the objects in the compositional scene. What appears at first glance as a collection of kitchen or bathroom items is imbued with an ethereal presence. As Gertrude Stein suggests of glassware in her 1914 poem “A Carafe, that is a Blind Glass,” these objects are a “spectacle,” in both senses of the word. They are spectacular as resplendent material and are spectacles in the sense of an eyeglass: a way of informing how the viewer sees what is in front of them, and how one may interact socially through the presence of the cup.

Still, as Stein’s poem suggests, even the empty glass is “blind,” or full of what is unseen. In Farhi’s large-scale paintings of sinks alongside his renderings of glassware invoke a third interpretation of Stein’s “spectacle.” The works in this exhibition also conjure the specter of the object, that being an ethereal presence of those who use, own, and interact with the subjects of Farhi’s work. His paintings frame the object as the instigator for human behavior, thought, and consumption. By turning the inanimate into agent, Farhi’s work allows the historically static object in a still life painting to actively shape the intimate world around it.


- Victoria Horrocks





Blithe Specters Meet Themselves, 2023
Oil, pastel, enamel spray on aluminum
24 × 36 in



Sitting Under The Umbrella, 2023
Oil, pastel, enamel spray on aluminum
36 × 36 in


Sill (Out Of A Window), 2023
Oil, pastel, enamel spray on aluminum
26 × 40 in