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Peter Halley - The Early Paintings - Exhibitions - Lopez de la Serna CAC

1. These are paintings of prisons, cells and walls.

2. Here, the idealist square becomes the prison. Geometry is revealed as confinement.

3. The cell is a reminder of the apartment house, the hospital bed, the school desk-the isolated endpoints of industrial structure.

4. The paintings are a critique of idealist modernism. In the “color field” is placed a jail. The misty space of Rothko is walled up.

5. Underground conduits connect the units. “Vital fluids” flow in and out.

6. The “stucco” texture is a reminiscence of motel ceilings.

7. The Day-Glo paint is a signifier of “low budget mysticism.” It is the afterglow of radiation.

Notes on the Paintings, 1982

Peter Halley - The Early Paintings - Exhibitions - Lopez de la Serna CAC

"In 1980, I moved back to New York City, where I had grown up. What impressed me there, on a very immediate level, was the functional role that geometry served in a giant metropolis – the role that geometry had in housing and in moving people, in commerce, and in control of everyday life. I began to see the city as something of a geometric machine in which geometry was the most efficient way of moving people and things". — 1990

Peter Halley - The Early Paintings - Exhibitions - Lopez de la Serna CAC

"…Thus, at the beginning of the 1980’s, I began to reexamine the nature of geometry in art and its symbolic role in culture.  For the most part, geometry had always been considered as something classical, timeless, and ahistorical, as something divorced from the social landscape.  In fact, geometry is often described as an a priori structure of human thought – that we naturally think in terms of geometric configurations and organization.  I felt the need to challenge these assumptions based on my own growing intuitive perceptions of the city as functional machine". — 1990

Installations Views

Installations Views Thumbnails
Peter Halley
Peter Halley
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Peter Halley
Peter Halley

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails
Prison, 1985

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

163 x 163 x 8,5 cm / 64 x 64 x 3.35 in

Prison, 1985

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

163 x 163 x 8,5 cm / 64 x 64 x 3.35 in

Yellow Cell with Triple Conduit, 1986

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

196 x 196 x 8,5 cm / 77 x 77 x 3.35 in

Yellow Cell with Triple Conduit, 1986

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

196 x 196 x 8,5 cm / 77 x 77 x 3.35 in

Cell with Smokestack, 1987

Acrylic and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

183 x 274 x 8,5 cm / 72 x 108 x 3.35 in

Cell with Smokestack, 1987

Acrylic and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

183 x 274 x 8,5 cm / 72 x 108 x 3.35 in

Nowhere, 1992

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

221 x 399 x 9,5 cm / 87 x 157 x 3.74 in

Nowhere, 1992

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

221 x 399 x 9,5 cm / 87 x 157 x 3.74 in

Prevention Mechanism, 1989

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

196 x 329 x 9,5 cm / 77 x 129.5 x 3.74 in

Prevention Mechanism, 1989

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

196 x 329 x 9,5 cm / 77 x 129.5 x 3.74 in

 

The Turning, 2008

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

305 x 406,5 x 9,5 cm / 120 x 160 x 3.74 in

 

The Turning, 2008

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

305 x 406,5 x 9,5 cm / 120 x 160 x 3.74 in

Enemy of the State, 1999

Acrylic, metallic acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

188 x 251 x 9,5 cm / 74 x 99 x 3.74 in

Enemy of the State, 1999

Acrylic, metallic acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

188 x 251 x 9,5 cm / 74 x 99 x 3.74 in

Prison, 1985

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

163 x 163 x 8,5 cm / 64 x 64 x 3.35 in

Prison, 1985

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

163 x 163 x 8,5 cm / 64 x 64 x 3.35 in

Yellow Cell with Triple Conduit, 1986

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

196 x 196 x 8,5 cm / 77 x 77 x 3.35 in

Yellow Cell with Triple Conduit, 1986

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

196 x 196 x 8,5 cm / 77 x 77 x 3.35 in

Cell with Smokestack, 1987

Acrylic and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

183 x 274 x 8,5 cm / 72 x 108 x 3.35 in

Cell with Smokestack, 1987

Acrylic and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

183 x 274 x 8,5 cm / 72 x 108 x 3.35 in

Nowhere, 1992

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

221 x 399 x 9,5 cm / 87 x 157 x 3.74 in

Nowhere, 1992

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

221 x 399 x 9,5 cm / 87 x 157 x 3.74 in

Prevention Mechanism, 1989

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

196 x 329 x 9,5 cm / 77 x 129.5 x 3.74 in

Prevention Mechanism, 1989

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

196 x 329 x 9,5 cm / 77 x 129.5 x 3.74 in

 

The Turning, 2008

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

305 x 406,5 x 9,5 cm / 120 x 160 x 3.74 in

 

The Turning, 2008

Acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

305 x 406,5 x 9,5 cm / 120 x 160 x 3.74 in

Enemy of the State, 1999

Acrylic, metallic acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

188 x 251 x 9,5 cm / 74 x 99 x 3.74 in

Enemy of the State, 1999

Acrylic, metallic acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas

188 x 251 x 9,5 cm / 74 x 99 x 3.74 in