Peter Halley
Early Work: 1982 to 1987

10 September to 24 October 2009
745 Fifth Avenue


On 10 September 2009, Mary Boone Gallery will open at its Fifth Avenue location “Early Work: 1982 to 1987”, an exhibition of paintings by PETER HALLEY.

Assembled from paintings in American private collections, this exhibition chronicles Peter Halley’s work from 1982 to 1987, the years when, after settling in New York, the artist was developing a body of work that significantly challenged the era’s prevailing ideas about the nature of abstract painting.

Inspired by a broad range of interests — his involvement with the nuances of urban spatial experience, the new digital technology, the materialism of Minimalism, the iconic quality of Warhol’s paintings, New Wave music, and French Post-Structuralist theory, Halley redeployed the language of 20th century geometric abstraction to develop a symbolic landscape populated by his Prisons, Cells, and the Conduits that connected them.

First exhibited in the mid-1980s, these controversial paintings were perceived as a challenge to both the flamboyant self-expression of the then-dominant Neo-Expressionist movement and to the self-referential hermeticism of Minimalist geometric abstraction.

Reflective of the dark political and social realities of the Reagan era, Halley’s early works are spare and rigorous, uningratiating in their reticence and repetition. Many are characterized by an eerie luminosity brought about by the juxtaposition of black with a single Day-Glo color.

The exhibition, at 745 Fifth Avenue, will continue through 24 October 2009. Please contact Ron Warren at the Gallery if we can be of further assistance, or visit our website