Overview

I just don’t think the power of abstraction is going away. Our whole cultural universe is built on abstraction.

Peter Halley is a Neo-Conceptualist known for his geometric paintings that engage in a play of relationships between so-called "prisons" and "cells".

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Biography

I just don’t think the power of abstraction is going away. Our whole cultural universe is built on abstraction, beginning with the abstraction that is money. But in the twentieth century, abstraction came to dominate our systems of knowledge as well. (...) Keep in mind that I don’t refer to my paintings as abstract. I call them diagrammatic. From the beginning, I’ve tried to diagram the predetermined pathways along which we travel to isolated compartmentalized spaces—though this system is also the result of systematic abstraction. 

Peter Halley was born in New York City in 1953. He received his BA from Yale University and his MFA from the University of New Orleans in 1978. Moving to New York City had big influence on Halley’s painting style. Its three-dimensional urban grid led to g eometric paintings that engage in a play of relationships between so-called 'prisons' and 'cells' – icons that reflect the increasing geometricization of social space in the world. Halley began to use colors and materials with specific connotations, such as fluorescent Day-Glo paint, mimcking the eerie glow artificial lighting and reflective clothing and signs,...

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