Peter Halley in Brazil

Paula Nunes
11 Nov 2021, 4:59 pm

Peter Halley (1953, New York, NY) uses geometric and digital images to criticise and bring attention to the ways in which architecture and technology control contemporary society. The artist graduated Yale University, where he later served as Director of Graduate Studies in Painting and Printmaking. Halley is also an art theoretician and critic awarded the Frank Jewett Mather Award from the College Art Association in 2001. 

Halley was essential for the consolidation of neo-conceptual movements in the post-war 1980s. Neo-conceptualism aimed to question the formalist and simplistic discourse conveyed by abstraction, which, until then, was propositioned by abstract expressionism.


The artist claims: no definition of the characteristics of a society’s artistic production can be free of the author’s aspirations for that society”. And that is why Halley, through characteristically fearless neon colors, proposes a dream-like world, simultaneous to the comments on the restainments imposed upon us in this rationalized digital era, promising a rupture with merely formal discourses.


Millan Gallery brings Peter Halley to Brazil, for the first time with an individual exhibition, which gathers works made in 2020 and 2021. The show, “Peter Halley: new paintings” emphasizes the systems created by the artist but, this time, in a more “rebel” phase, as described by the critic Richard Milazzo.

According to Milazzo, in the exhibit, the artist’s intention to “escape ‘prisons’ he sees around us” transpires, “whether they are architectural or internalizes as compulsive-obsessive behavioural forces that can, weirdly enough, help us fund our path if we can control them, os limit ourselves in everything we do and want to reach if they control us.”


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