Peter Halley: Drawings - Four Decades

March 5 - April 23, 2011

Press Release

Four Decades

March 5 - April 23, 2011
Private Armory Circle Brunch reception

GERING & LóPEZ GALLERY is pleased to present PETER HALLEY: Drawings - Four Decades.

This exhibition presents a survey of drawings and studies by Peter Halley. Spanning the 1970s to the present, it includes a wide array of media through which the artist has developed his practice: paint studies on paper, photomechanical Kodalith prints, digital animation video, wall-size vinyl flowcharts, as well as ink on paper. This is the first time that most of these works will be exhibited.

Following the trajectory of Halley's work since the 1970s, the exhibition includes a series of small gouache drawings from 1978, done during Halley's years as a graduate student at the University of New Orleans. Executed before his exposure to post-modern theory, these works exuberantly cull influences from Native American, Islamic, and African art to form highly codified landscape imagery.

Also in the exhibition is a variety of works from the early 1980s in which Halley maps his developing concern with post-industrial space -- first in a series of simple mechanical pen drawings on graph paper, then in his "Kodaliths." In these, Halley’s drawings are printed on mylar as photographic negatives, thus yielding an ethereal clear line on a film-like black background. As Halley’s work with Kodaliths progresses through the mid-80s, he focuses less on articulating his new world of prisons, cells, and, conduits, and more on the re-presentation of simple words and phrases taken from the realm of packaging and highway signage in works like "Digitally Mastered" and "Maintain Speed".

Never previously shown is a digital animation, "Exploding Cell," 1983, which was laboriously produced at a professional production house just before the era of personal computers. Also included are two "Flowcharts" from the 1990s, a decade in which Halley was exploring parallels between the space of flowcharts as a means of organizing information and the space of his own paintings.

Finally, the exhibition includes over twenty of the paint-on-paper studies that Halley uses to lay out his large meticulously rendered geometric paintings. Small in scale and executed with painterly directness, they are an intimate contrast to the artist's full-scale works.

Peter Halley was born in 1953 in New York City, where he still lives and works. He has had one-person museum exhibitions at the capc Musee d'Art Contemporain, Bordeaux (1991), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (1992), the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1997), and the Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, Kitakyushu (1998), among many others. Since the mid-1990s, he has produced public installations in Spain, Italy, and the U.S. In 2008, he completed a large permanent installation of digital prints for the Gallatin School at New York University.

Throughout his career Halley has been active as a writer on art and culture. His early essays have been anthologized in two books of collected writings. From 1996 to 2006, Halley was the publisher of index magazine, which featured in-depth interviews with creative people in diverse creative fields.

Since 2002, Halley has been the Director of Graduate Studies in Painting and Printmaking at Yale University.

Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm. For more information, please contact Julie Bills at or 646.336.7183.

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Peter Halley

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