This exhibition of paintings by the American neo-conceptualist Peter Halley, is marking the third exhibition of the artist’s works with the gallery. (Previous shows took place in 2009 in Gstaad and in 2013 in St. Moritz.)
Arranged over both floors of the newly inaugurated gallery in Gstaad are 14 of Halley‘s signature diagrammatic paintings spanning 30 years of production. The earliest piece, Black Cell, dates from 1988, and the most recent, Breakthrough, from 2018-19, the latter an evolution of the former. Executed in combinations of acrylic, Day-Glo, Roll-a-Tex, metallic and pearlescent paint, the majority of the works feature Halley‘s characteristic linked square and rectangular units — each feeding into the other in an endless feedback system. Known for his interest in circuitry, urban spaces and geometric abstraction, these past and newer works — whose constitutive units Halley dubs ‘cells’ and ‘prisons’ — take on renewed resonance in light of recent events. Into these striking works can be read the isolation of individuals in subdivided spaces and the complete reliance on digital systems since the onset of COVID-19. With his eye to the future, Halley‘s work is both prescient and seductive in its seeming simplicity.
Peter Halley was born in 1953 in New York City, where he still lives. He graduated from Yale University with a BA in Art History in 1975 and went on to the University of New Orleans for his painting MFA, moving back to New York in 1980. Halley became an important voice in the burgeoning New York art scene of the following decade, specifically the Neo-Conceptualism movement, and has since exhibited in major galleries all over the world, with works included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Fondation Cartier, Tate and Whitney Museum among many others. Renowned for his paintings and prints as well as large-scale site-specific installations, Halley is also an influential essayist and a former publisher of Index magazine (1996-05). Peter Halley: Cell Grids is at Dallas Contemporary until February 2022 and an exhibition of his work from the 1980s will be taking place at Mudam in Luxembourg in 2023.