In her 3rd solo exhibition Finish Fetish Anya Pesce continues her now finely tuned practice and experimental fabrication methods, turning out series of seductive, rippling, glossy sheets of monochrome colour. At once a homage to the Light and Space movement of 1960s L.A. and a signature format reflective of her personal tussle as a contemporary painter, the titling represents a sustained reflection on the meaning of surface in art, and in the world. The exploration of surface as a material has taken her into the realm of industrial plastics, arriving at heated, hand-pliable polymethylmethacrylate. The material enables her to, momentarily, fold, scrunch, twist and disrupt its glossy surface, encapsulating those gestures in a hard and impervious finish, so that only the appearance of movement remains.
Where in previous series Anya worked within the brightness of ready-made colour, this new series revels in the tonal nuances and warm lustre of metallic finishes; bronze, gold, pewter – an armoury at immersive scale. The surfaces suggest cosmetics and coveted commodities. One of the paradoxes of the Finish Fetish artists is that the desirability of a flawless surface is but a means to an end, a tactic inviting interaction. It’s not actually all about the surface, it’s really all about the sensation. For those L.A. artists, it was about evoking the fragmentary effects of light flashing on sleek things; cars, the rippling ocean and the attendant rush of speed and freedom that came with it. Beyond mere touch or tactility though, Anya is interested in her works visually alluding to a state of bodily awareness she describes as proprioceptive. It is about knowing what it is to inhabit another skin, even briefly.
Here, at the intersection of process, perception, and luscious surfaces, are known and remembered sensations; of a body slipping between sheets, of a thumb and forefinger pinching silk, of metal encircling flesh, of warm clothing pooling on the floor. The aesthetics of fashion, consumerism and desire collide, like reflections, in surfaces wearing the impression of body.
-Lisa Pang, January 2022.