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Peter Halley Biography

Peter Halley, from New York City, produces large scale artwork that explores the worlds of geometry and colour. He works primarily in paint, though he is also recognised for printmaking. He likes to work with Day-Glo acrylic colours. As a child, Halley attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, a school known for its innovative art program. He then went on to study Art History at Yale, and after graduating enrolled in the University of New Orleans MFA program, which he completed in 1978.

He first came to prominence in the mid-1980s and he soon caught critics’ attention with his playful interplay of his colourful, geometric abstractions that he named prisons and cells. These iconic works were a reflection of the confining underlying structures of industrialisation and capitalism.

Peter Halley is recognised as part of the Minimalist and Neo Geo artistic movements, the former due to his use of design elements and the latter due to his rendering of geometric shapes.

As well as painting, Halley is a renowned writer. He produced an anthology of work, titled Selected Essays 1981 – 2001, that explores postmodernism, post-structuralism and the digital revolution. He also publishes Index magazine, which features in depth interviews with cultural icons such as Brian Eno, Scarlett Johansson and Marc Jacobs.

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