Assembling thirty key works from public and private collections, this retrospective survey presents paintings alongside previously unseen drawings, sketches and notes from the first decade of Peter Halley’s career.
During the 1980s Peter Halley developed a signature vocabulary that he has used in his work now for over forty years. Redeploying the language of geometric abstraction, he developed a pictorial system of ‘prisons’, ‘cells’ and ‘conduits’ that enabled him to produce diagrammatic paintings representing social subjects. With these works he addressed the impact and legacies of urbanisation and industrialisation within a post-industrial society marked by technological change. Working at the advent of the internet and at a time that saw the mass adoption of personal computers and video games, he described the physical and bureaucratic environments of the late twentieth century and the systemic logic that found expression within the architectures of a new digital space.
This is the first museum survey of Halley’s 1980s work in over thirty years. Drawing extensively on Halley’s critical writing, interviews and unpublished notes it seeks to re-evaluate this early work and its subjects of alienation, isolation, confinement and connectivity within the context of its production. The exhibition reflects upon both the artistic and critical landscape of New York in the 1980s and a period of social history shaped by economic expansion and collapse, nuclear threat and the AIDS epidemic.
More information at: Mudam Luxembourg