“For me, this is an ideal period for an artist to be involved in issues of color. Technology is offering up increasingly spectacular coloristic effects in film, television, and on the computer screen. New intensely colored materials are entering architecture and industrial design. Advertising has transformed every corner of our environment into garish but enticing coloristic vignettes. The coloristic intensity of our built environment leaves me bewildered that color has not become a central theme in the work of other artists.” – Peter Halley
Late in the modernist era, in the heart of the eclectic New York landscape of the 1980s, Peter Halley liberated geometry from its former conservative boundaries, rediscovering it for a whole generation of young artists. Using geometric patterns to express the physical and psychological aspects of urban environments in an era of expanding digital technology, his dynamic and radically vivid paintings embodied a bold concept of a New Abstraction.
In his work, Halley viscerally reproduces the modular patterns and borders that constrain the life and movement of modern urban man. Grids, cells, apartment buildings and thin channels – as dividers and bridges in the realities of our isolated existence.
‘I was newly back in New York and feeling quite psychologically isolated, and began to think of things coming in and out of these isolated spaces, like the telephone lines, electric lines, plumbing. I shortly thereafter added a second canvas, with the idea that these were underground conduits feeding these spaces. So, it wasn’t just a cityscape, it was a diagram of contemporary life as it’s organized. I thought of these early works as cable TV, but it seemed to anticipate what was about to happen with the internet’.
Artist’s philosophy became the basis for the Neoconceptualism (Neo-Geo) movement. Through stylization, a unique set of pictorial signs and an experimental approach to painting, the artist reveals in his paintings the problems of communication in the contemporary world.
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) (New York, NY, USA)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY, USA)
Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA, USA)
Whitney Museum of American Art New York, NY, USA)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) (San Francisco, CA, USA)
FNAC Collection (Paris, France)
Museum of Modern Kunst (Vienna, Austria)
Krefelder Kunstmuseen (Krefeld, Germany)
Addison Gallery of American Art (Andover, MA, USA)
Eli Broad Foundation (Santa Monica, CA, USA)
Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea (Rivoli, Italy)
Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
Museum of Contemporary Art (Tokyo, Japan)