Xippas Gallery presents Peter Halley, one of the most distinguished American painters of the last two decades, for the first time in Greece. The exhibition comprises fifteen paintings of various dimensions covering his output from 1996 to 2005 and could be considered a mini-retrospective.
Peter Halley made a name for himself in the mid 1980’s, initially on the New York scene and subsequently worldwide, as one of the foremost figures of geometric abstraction. His work combines the austere geometry of Mondrian and Barnett Newman with Andy Warhol’s pop colours. Halley’s paintings became synonymous with Day-Glo and Roll-a-tex acrylic colours as well as to the quasi three-dimensional depictions of cells and circuits.
Beyond creating artwork itself, Halley is also a prominent investigator of the relationship of painting with philosophy, phenomenology, and sociology. Originally under the influence of French post-structuralism, he wrote extensively providing a theoretical basis for his artistic endeavors. He supported and defended abstraction both with his writings and his creative output at a time when most critics trumpeted the death of painting. In addition to curating numerous group exhibitions, he maintains a strong link to developments in the visual arts through the alternative magazine Index, which he has been publishing from his New York studio since 1996. Halley embodies the ideal of the Renaissance man who acts in and affects the world in which lives and evolves.
Halley’s painting surpasses the usual theoretical connection of geometry with metaphysical quests, as was the case from the beginning of the century to the 1960’s. His paintings constitute alternative schematic depictions and analysis of the way people live in the western world. The cell, systematically repeating itself in his works, represents the artist himself, the house, or the technological achievements and the way they are linked to the world surrounding them. It can be understood, both through his writings and the observation of his work that Halley’s painting depicts and refers to architecture and urban planning, circuits and the interfaces between computers and telephones, as well as to “Big Brother” style surveillance systems.
Halley’s work has been the object of close scrutiny by some of the most prominent art historians from Arthur Schwartz and Demetrio Paparoni to Rudi Fuchs, Hal Foster, and Nicolas Bourriaud. A catalogue with an essay by Manolis Mavrommatis will be published on the occasion of the exhibition.
Peter Halley was born in New York in 1953. He studied at Yale University as well as at the State University of Louisiana. He lives and works in New York and teaches painting in Yale University.
Retrospectives and solo shows have been presented in museums such as MoMA, New York, the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam, the Reina Sofia in Madrid, the London and Boston ICA, the CAPC in Bordeaux as well as at numerous other museums in Europe, North America and Japan.