This painting depicts an elevated deck on a modern home as it peeks out from between a dense group of trees. McPhail’s deft paint handling and brushwork imbues the image with an energetic vitality, while the composition conveys a subtly voyeuristic tone—as if it is trying to provide a glimpse into a hidden space. This painting is exemplary of the artist’s dynamic balance between abstraction and representation.
Nick McPhail's work chronicles encounters between Los Angeles’ manufactured and natural environments in a combination of impressionistic and painterly flourishes. His compositions feature mid-century architecture among tropical plants and convey the seductive yet unknowable essence of the city.
Nick McPhail’s paintings chronicle encounters between the manufactured and natural environments of Los Angeles. His compositions contrast the city’s hard-edged architecture with its lush foliage and tropical plants. McPhail employs a refined combination of painterly and impressionistic flourishes to convey the seductive yet ultimately unknowable essence of the city.
Nick McPhail lives and works in Los Angeles, California. In 2006, he received a BFA from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.
Solo exhibitions of McPhail’s work include: Windows at Ochi Projects in Los Angeles, California (2020); Lights at Untitled_1983 in Geneva, Switzerland (2019); and Pictures at Holiday in Los Angeles, California (2018).
Group exhibitions that have shown McPhail’s work include: Day Trip at Reynolds Gallery in Richmond, Virginia (2021); Match at Untitled_1983 in Geneva, Switzerland (2021); Inside/Outside at Circle Contemporary in Chicago, Illinois (2020); Chains at Central Park Gallery in Los Angeles, California (2019); Absolute Space at Ochi Gallery in Ketchum, Idaho (2019); Wholly Coast at Monte Vista Projects in Los Angeles, California (2019); Full House at Half Gallery LA in Los Angeles, California (2018); Soft Serve at Holiday in Los Angeles, California (2017); Self Reliance 2017 at Nowspace in Los Angeles, California (2017); and Recurrence at Fridman Gallery in New York City (2014).
In 2019, McPhail participated in residencies at Untitled_1983 in Geneva Switzerland and Ochi Gallery in Ketchum, Idaho. He also participated in the Holiday Forever Residency in Jackson, Wyoming.