All those months spent inside feeling trapped within four walls triggered Peter Halley into re-thinking the artistic world he had been inventing since the 80’s. Changes in mode of life resulted in changes in mode of expression, as the New Yorker began to opt for alternative confines to his previously “conduit” and “cell-like” paintings.
Nine months after his exhibition New Paintings at galeria Senda, Peter Halley has taken his laberinthian explosion of colors to the walls of the Nivola Museum in Orani, Sardegna. ANTESTERIA, which gives name to the exhibit, references the Greek festivity in devotion of the god Dyonisus and the arrival of spring.
Parting away from the static, rectangular and lethargic aspect of the conventional canvas, Halley has adapted his color induced shapes to the walls of the museum in a manner resemblant to those done by previous artists throughout history. Reminiscent of the legacy that traces back to cave paintings all the way to fourteenth-century fresco paintings such as those done by Giotto in the Arena Chapel at Padua, Halley has brought out a cathartic experience by combining his signature neon colored shapes with the geometric motifs of the room. The arched windows, with stained glasses similar to those in churches, are in conversation with the dynamic and psychedelic paintings of the American artist.
A pristine place brought to life; a secular space made to receive an attention that dances the line between admiration and devotion. The signature cell structure of Halley’s work is distorted, made to appear as a continuum of lines that lead the viewer’s gaze from one side of the room to the other, stopping in between to stare into the kaleidoscopic splatters on the west and east walls, as well as the lower panels, which combine geometric shapes with more free draw lines.
Peter Halley is reinventing himself according to the contemporary world we live in. His art fluctuates in the same way customs, culture and capitalism do. He proved so when he exhibited New Paintings in the gallery last September, when he moved away from the square canvas and took on a different meaning for it. To him the canvas no longer ought to be static, but by combining luminous colors with irregular confines, he contrasted textures and reliefs that brought together the industrial and urban register, and the sensuality of tactile experience.
To the artist, the cells and conducts are not simply geometric compositions, but rather, symbolic images of the social schemes that surround us. A turn in his analysis of the models of organisation and communication in contemporary societies.
ANTESTERIA will be exhibited until August 22nd.