Peter Halley: Paintings 2012-2013 at Waddington Custot
The latest exhibition at Waddington Custot is a collection of 13 new works by the New York artist Peter Halley.
Halley has been producing work, primarily paintings, since the 1980s – with his trademark style belonging to the movement known as Neo-Geo. This show will be the Waddington Custot’s sixth exhibition of works by Halley, and this time the selection of pieces on display are bolder than ever.
While the gallery’s press release states that the new works “introduce an absurdist, satiric dimension to the artist’s work,” to anyone who has followed Halley’s practice over the decades, these pieces do not seem so far removed from many of his previous projects, such as the colourful installation created in collaboration with Alessandro Mendini, at Galleria Massimo Minini in 2008.
Like the majority of his paintings, these pieces include Halley’s signature emblem the “prison” – a rectangular grid which hangs suspended in the centre of each canvas. The colours in this collection, however, appear brighter than those used in past pieces and the day-glo acrylics really grab at the viewer’s eye, compelling them to study each painting from a closer vantage point, where they can inspect the clean edges of the lines (created using only masking tape). Another repetitive element featured in each canvas is the bar, seen in a variety of different colours, which runs along the bottom edge.
Many pieces including Cult (2013) and Glee (2013) use areas of paint textured using Roll- a-Tex, a paint thickening agent. This adds another interesting dimension to the surface of the canvases, which are already exciting to behold with their colourful design arrangements.
The pieces are relatively simple, but have a huge visual impact. They are lively, and the high level of craftsmanship that has clearly gone into creating their polished appearance has to be admired. The show is enthusiastically recommended for anyone interested in abstract or contemporary painting.
Peter Halley: Paintings 2012-2013 is at Waddington Custot until 3rd May 2013. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.