White Lilies
Nick Farhi, Exene Karros, Spencer Lai, Anjuli Rathod

December 18, 2020 - January 17, 2021

Thierry Goldberg is pleased to present White Lilies, an online exhibition of works by Nick Farhi, Exene Karros, Spencer Lai, and Anjuli Rathod. The exhibition will be on view from December 18, 2020 through January 17, 2021.

On the occasion of someone’s death it is a custom to bring their loved ones flowers, and perhaps the most common is the white lily: a symbol of purity, rebirth and hope. In White Lilies, four artists create worlds of potent color or darkness to contemplate isolation, mourning, and solitude.

Nick Farhi paints objects that appear alone as if surrounded by silence. In his still lifes there is a subtle loneliness that envelops everyday objects (like tableware and tchotchkes) as these are staged without context, and in front of blurred colors instead of in defined settings. Farhi views typically minor objects as theatrical storytellers that possess a history of design and allude to a possible home. They no longer seem to hold a quotidian function. They become a memento without an owner, a relic of a time past, and consequently an object devoid of any meaning at all. As with Violists on lunch (2020), a pale-pink Depression glass pitcher and cups are set on a table. The vessels are empty – parched – almost dying from lack of use. Though Farhi studies the history of each object, his paintings serve as studies of light and color: creating the presence of life through the shimmer of light reflected on glass.

Also included in this exhibition are Exene Karros’s haunting paintings where she charts universal symbols and emotions to decode their logic and ponder eternal questions. In the three presented works, icons such as an hourglass, a pair of dice, and ‘the scales of justice’ appear to spell out unconscious thoughts or webs of doom. These icons find their way into paintings like Love, Wisdom, Heaven, Conspiracy (2020), where signifiers float in a cloud-like thought bubble above a couple’s heads; or in Chart no. 6  (2020), where they are encased in white boxes, almost as if they are board game tiles in an existential version of The Game of Life; and in MORALITY (2020), where fantastical portrayals of heaven and hell are enclosed in a Venn diagram with their union being Earth.

Spencer Lai creates monochrome felt assemblages that replicate scenes from art history and contemporary culture. In Lai’s relief-like appropriations, the scenes from pre-existing works – like the bouquet of flowers in Joseph (“Pepe”) Vignes’ 1972 colored pencil drawing – get replicated into hand-cut forms. These odes appear as three-dimensional layered silhouettes of their predecessors. The works by Lai in this exhibition pink (flowers in vase)(after Vignes) (2018/1972) and accessory (2020) juxtapose Vignes’ innocent and enchanting work on paper with a violent net-art drawing Lai found on the Internet. In their jet-black composition, Lai depicts the horrific scene of a woman surrounded by bystanders as she is carried to be tortured. Scattered across the felt rectangle are superfluous items like stars, four-leaf clovers, and teddy bears – playing on the idea of an ‘accessory’ to a crime. This bleak scene feels in sync with its fatal color, but its soft felt existence is ironic in opposition to Lai’s hot pink work, where the felt feels perfectly appropriate for such a cheery image.

In Anjuli Rathod’s Gut Spiral (2020), a figure, an intestine-like form, moths, and candles merge into one colorful swirl of an imagined world or perhaps another level of consciousness. The figure is “Red”: the protagonist of much of Rathod’s works who is usually seen or whose presence is felt in the artist’s paintings. Red is ghost-like, the eyes of a vision in a dream, psychedelic experience, or sci-fi movie. Through Red, the artist creates portals into worlds and matrixes that do not exist, but are based in a reality of emotions. In this alternate reality, feelings like mourning and grieving are seen as bodily, because of their dramatic and highly charged energy. Though this world is potent with lament, it is a zone meant to escape this dreary feeling.

Nicholas Farhi (b. 1987, New York, NY) lives Camden, ME and works in Rockland, ME. He studied at Hunter College, New York, NY and SUNY Empire State, New York, NY. Farhi has had solo and two-person exhibitions at Amavi Gallery, Cape Cod, MA; Tilou Fine Art, Brooklyn, NY; Golsa, Oslo, Norway; Serving The People Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Rod Bianco Gallery, Oslo, Norway; United Artists Ltd, Marfa, TX; Bill Brady Gallery, Miami, FL; Neochrome Gallery, Turin, Italy; and Louis B. James, New York, NY. His work has also been included in group exhibitions at Mana Museum of Contemporary Art, Jersey City, NJ; Kirkland Gallery, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA; Karma International, Los Angeles, CA; Steve Turner Los Angeles, CA; Shoulder, Los Angeles, CA; Gallery Sade Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; Leila Heller Gallery, New York, NY; Hilde Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Proto Gallery, Hoboken, NJ; Coburn Projects, London, United Kingdom; Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York, NY; Jonathan Viner Gallery, London, United Kingdom; Brand New Gallery, Milan, Italy; Xi Garden, New York, NY; Orgy Park, Brooklyn, NY; and Robert Blumenthal Gallery, East Hampton, NY. This is Farhi’s first show with Thierry Goldberg Gallery.

Exene Karros (b. 1995, Morristown, NJ) lives and works in Philadelphia, PA. She holds a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI. Karros’ work has been included in group exhibitions at Sinkhole Project, Baltimore, MD; Whaam! Gallery, Miami, FL; Mery Gates, Brooklyn, NY; Woods-Gerry Gallery, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI; Benson Hall Gallery, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI; and Friend Gallery, Providence, RI. This is her first show with Thierry Goldberg Gallery.

Spencer Lai (b. 1991, Sarawak, Malaysia) lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. They hold a BFA from Victorian College for the Arts, Southbank, Australia and RMT University, Melbourne, Australia. Lai has had solo exhibitions at Kimberly-Klark, Ridgewood, NY; Fort Delta, Melbourne, Australia; TCB Art.INC, Melbourne, Australia; George Paton Gallery, Melbourne, Australia; Blindside, Melbourne, Australia; and c3 Contemporary, Melbourne, Australia. Their work has also been included in group exhibitions at West Space, Melbourne, Australia; Neon Parc, Melbourne, Australia; Mejia, Melbourne, Australia; Discordia Gallery, Melbourne, Australia; Constance ARI, Hobart, Australia; COMA Gallery, Darlinghurst, Australia; David Gallery, Melbourne, Australia; Second Space Projects, Melbourne, Australia; Low Standards, Oslo, Norway; Lubov, New York, NY; Sydney Sydney, Sydney, Australia; Gertrude Glasshouse, Melbourne, Australia; OnCurating Project Space, Zürich, Switzerland; Arts Project Australia, Melbourne, Australia; Honeymoon Suite, Melbourne, Australia; Irene Rose, Melbourne, Australia; Australian National Capital Artists, Canberra, Australia; Rear View, Melbourne, Australia; Gertrude Contemporary, Preston, Australia; TarraWarra Museum of Arts, Melbourne, Australia; Punk Café, Melbourne, Australia; offsite location, Tokyo, Japan; LON Gallery, Melbourne, Australia; Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, Australia; and VCA Student Gallery, Melbourne, Australia. This is Lai’s first show with Thierry Goldberg Gallery.

Anjuli Rathod (b. 1987, Norristown, PA) lives and works in New York, NY. She holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, Boston, MA. Rathod has had solo and two-person exhibitions at Y2K group, New York, NY; Interstate Projects, Brooklyn, NY; Safe Gallery, Brooklyn NY; and Project Pangée, Montreal, Canada. Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at Kristen Lorello Gallery, New York; NY; Rubber Factory, New York, NY; Selenas Mountain, Queens, NY; Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Brooklyn, NY; Teen Party, Brooklyn, NY; Fisher Parrish, New York, NY; Western Exhibitions, Chicago, IL; Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA; Knockdown Center, Maspeth, NY; Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Amos Eno Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Samson Projects, Boston, MA; and 57 Delle Project Space, Roxbury Crossing, MA. This is Rathod’s first show with Thierry Goldberg Gallery.

For more information please email or call the gallery at + 1. 212.228.7569 or info@thierrygoldberg.com.