Xippas Gallery has the pleasure of announcing Peter Halley’s first solo show in its Parisian space.
This American artist, one of the most emblematic of his generation, is recognized in the history of contemporary painting as the legitimate heir of American abstraction. Peter Halley first became known in the New York art scene in the mid-1980s, before reaching international famé more than 25 years ago as a major figure of geometric abstraction. The use of industrial materials, synthetic mortar, Day-Glo, Roll-a-Tex, and fluorescent acrylic paint, as well as recurrent patterns of circuits and cells, create Peter Halley’s signature of instantaneous visual impact. His iconography endows abstract forms with the same value as diagrams and in turn references everything from architecture to societal organizations.
For Peter Halley, geometry is a metaphor for contemporary society. His universe consists of forms that he calls “cells,” “prisons,” or even “conduits.” His use of industrial materials distances his work from painting’s “sublime” character and suggests that his compositions, although abstract, nonetheless have some relationship with external reality. His large-scale paintings highlight the influence of mathematical models, information systems, and even communication flux, in modern cities, societal organizations, and in all aspects of life in a postindustrial society. This reference to contemporary culture permeates Peter Halley’s other paintings, which are named after television shows and specials from American cable TV. Pop art and minimalism serve as a source of inspiration and play an important role in his reflection on media, technology, and consumer culture.
Peter Halley’s critical approach is not only expressed in his paintings, but also in his articles and essays on post-structuralism, post-modernism, and the 1980s numeric revolution. He began publishing these articles in the 1980s and in 1996, he co-founded Index Magazine, which attests to his engagement with contemporary creation. A book entitled “Selected Essays 1981-2001” has recently been published at Edgewise Editions.
Peter Halley was born in 1953 in New York, where he still lives and works today. He graduated from Yale University and the University of New Orleans.
He has shown at numerous museums all over the world: CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux (1991), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (1992), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1992), Des Moines Art Center (1992), Dallas Museum of Art (1995), Museum of Modern Art, New York (1997), Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art (1998), Museum Folkwang, Essen (1998), Butler Institute of American Art (1999), and Louisiana Art & Science Museum, Baton Rouge, LA (2005). From January 18 to May 19, 2014, the Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Etienne Métropole will host a solo show.
He has also displayed works in several galleries worldwide, including Mary Boone Gallery, New York; Galeria Javier Lopez, Madrid; Baldwin Gallery, Aspen; Galerie Alain Noirhomme, Brussels; Waddington Galleries, London; and Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Moscow.
Since the mid-1990s, he has completed numerous commissioned projects for the New York State University in Buffalo (1998), the city library of Usera, Spain (2002), the Banco Suisso d’Italia in Turin (2003), and the Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport in Texas (2005). In 2008, he completed a large permanent installation for the New York University Gallatin School.
In 2001, he received the Frank Jewett Mather Award from the American College Art Association for his critical texts.
Since 2002, Peter Halley has been the department chair of Painting and Printmaking at Yale School of Arts.