Peter Halley

Peter Halley

For over twenty-five years, Peter Halley's geometric paintings have been engaged in a play of relationships between what he calls "prisons" and "cells" – icons that reflect the increasing geometricization of social space in the world in which we live. His work has been exhibited in galleries in Chicago, London, Madrid, Moscow, New York, Paris, Rome, Seoul, and Tokyo.

Since the mid-1990s, Halley has produced site-specific installations for exhibitions and as permanent public works. From 1996 to 2006, Peter Halley published index magazine, which featured in-depth interviews with creative people. He has taught at Columbia University, UCLA, and the School of Visual Arts. Since 2002, Halley has been the Director of Graduate Studies in Painting and Printmaking at the Yale University School of Art.

Born: New York City, 1953
Currently lives and works in New York


1975 B.A., Yale University
1978 M.F.A., University of New Orleans

Selected Exhibitions

2012 “Heute. Malerei”, Kunstmuseum Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen Magdeburg, Germany
“ReFocus: Art of the 1980’s”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, FL
“1980-Now”, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
“Contemporary Paintings: 1960 to the Present”, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
“Plastic Alphabet”, Dean’s Gallery, MIT School of Management, Cambridge, MA
2011 “Surreal versus Surrealism in Contemporary Art,” IVAM, Valencia, Spain
“Personal Structures,” Palazzo Bembo, Venice
“Obras Maestras de Pintura en la Coleccion del IVAM. Pasado, Presente y Futuro, IVAM” Valencia, Spain
2010 “Color and Form”, Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
“Pictures about Pictures: Discursive Painting from Albers to Zobernig,” the Daimler Art Collection and Mumok, Vienna.
2009 “Peter Halley: Cells and Conduits (Paintings 1987-2002), El Sourdog Hex, Berlin
“Constellations: Painting from the MCA Collection,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
“Now New: New Works, New Space,” Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul, Turkey
“Strip/Stripe,” Emily Harvey Foundation, New York
“Quant la première Ivresse des succès bruyants…,” CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art and Collection Louis Negre, Bordeaux (catalogue)
“H x W x D: Thirty Years of MFA at UNO,” University of New Orleans St. Claude Gallery, New Orleans (catalogue)
“Synthetics,” Whitney Museum of Art, New York
2008 “Fifty Works for Fifty States,” The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (catalogue)
“The Big Bang,” Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome (cataloon Fine Art, Zurich) (catalogue)
2007 “The Shapes of Space,” Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
RESET: Works from the Marx Collection, Hamburger – Banhof Museum Fut Gegewart, Berlin
“War and Discontent,” Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
“Passion for Art: 35th Anniversary of the Essl Museum Collection,” Sammlulng Essl and Schomer-Haus, Vienna
2006 “Paintings,” Imago Galleries, Palm Desert, CA
“American Academy Invitational Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture,” American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York
“Figures in Field: Figurative Sculpture and Abstract Painting from Chicago Collections,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
“2006 Alumni Society Auction,” School of Visual Arts, New York
“Minimalism an After IV: New Acquistions from the Daimler Chrysler Collection,” Daimler Chrysler Contemporary, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin
2005 “Peter Halley: Present and Past,” Louisiana Art & Science Museum, Baton Rouge, LA
2004 “Tear Down this Wall: Paintings from the 1980’s,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2003 “Conspiracy Theory,” Imago Galleries, Palm Desert, CA
2002 “No Object, No Subject, No Matter…,” Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
2001 “Playing Amongst the Ruins,” Royal College of Art Galleries, London (exhb. cat.) “Mythic Proportions: Painting in the 80s,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami
“Post-Hypnotic,” Addison Gallery of Art, Philips Academy, Andover, MA (traveling)
“Glee: Painting Now,” Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CN
2000 “Art at Work: Forty Years of the Chase Manhattan Collection,” Queens Museum, Queens, NY
“From Albers to Paik: Works of the DaimlerChrysler Collection,” Kunst Zürich, Zürich
“Age of Influence: Reflections in the Mirror of American Culture,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
“Collezionismi: la collezione della Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain,” Palazzo Delle Papesse, Siena
“The American Century,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
"The Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain collection", Centro Art Contemporanea Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena
1999 "The Broad Spectrum: Color on Paper, Past and Present," The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
“Geometrie als Gestalt,” The art collection of DaimlerChrysler, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (
“Geometry as Design,” Daimler Chrysler Collection, Stuttgart, Germany
“Compliments,” Downtown Art Alliance, New York
“Forty Years of The Chase Manhattan Collection: Art at Work,” Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX
1998 “Peter Halley, Paintings of the 1990s,” Museum Folkwang Essen, Essen, Germany (
“Peter Halley, Painting as Sociogram 1981 – 1997,” The Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, Kitakyushu, Japan.
“Peter Halley: Paintings and Drawings,” Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, MODULO, Lisbon
“Post-hypnotic,” University Galleries, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, traveling to
Atlanta College of Art Gallery, Atlanta, GA, and Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL
“Cleveland Collects,” The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
1997 “New Concepts in Printmaking1: Peter Halley,” Museum of Modern Art, New York
“The Peter Halley Project,” University Gallery, SUNY Buffalo, New York
“Peter Halley, Frank Kozik,” Wooster Gardens, New York
“Pop Abstraction,” The Pennsylvania Academy of Art, Philadelphia Ace Gallery, Los Angeles
"Peter Halley: Paintings 1989 – 1992," Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IL (
“Groei in de Collectie Peter Stuyvesant,” Peter Stuyvesant Foundation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
“Fort! Da!” Villa Merkel Galerie der Stadt Esslingen, Esslingen, Germany (
Tokyo International Forum Art Collection, Tokyo, Japan (
1997 “After the Fall,” Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island, New York
1996 “Sammlung Marx,” Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum Für Gegenwart, Berlin
“Bringing it All Back Home,” Gracie Mansion, New York
“Thinking Print: Books to Billboards, 1980,” The Museum of Modern Art, New York
“Art at the End of the 20th Century, Selections from the Whitney Museum of American Art,” National Gallery, Alexander Soutzos Museum, Athens
“Minimal Art,” Koldo Mitxelena Kulturunea, Spain
“Wunschmaschine Welterfindung: A History of Technical Visions,” Kunsthalle Wien, Australia
“Addison Gallery of American Art: 65 Years,” Addison Gallery, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA
“Nuevas Abstracciones,” Reina Sofia, Madrid; Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Bielefeld; Museu d’Art Contemporani, Barcelona (
“Everything That’s Interesting Is New: The Dakis Joannou Collection,” Athens School of Fine Arts, Athens, Greece (
1995 “Encounters 6,” Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
“Morceaux Choisis du Fonds National d’Art Contemporain,” Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble, France
“Transatlantica,” Museo de Artes Visuales Alejandro Otero, Caracas, Venezuela
“FuoriUso ’95: Caravanserraglio Arte Contemporanea,” Pescara, Italy.
“Caravanasary of Contemporary Art,” Associazione Culturale Arte Nova, Pescara, Italy
Exhibition in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the Israel Museum, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
“Altered States,” Forum for Contemporary Art, St. Louis, MO
“Pittura Immedia, Malerei in den 90er Jahren,” Landesmuseum Joanneum Graz, Klagenfurt, Austria
“It’s Only Rock and Roll,” Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona
“Degrees of Abstraction: From Morris Louis to Mapplethorpe,” Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
“New York Abstract,” Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA (
“Risarcimento,” Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe Degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy
“Critiques of Pure Abstraction,” (through 1997) Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, TX; Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Canada; Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, NE; Armand Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; The Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, FL; Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, FL; Frederick Weisman Museum, Minneapolis, MN (
“Mesotica Pintura, the america non-representativa,” Museo de Arte y Diseno Contemporaneo, San Jose, Costa Rica (
“Reinventing the Emblem,” Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut (
“Drawings 1991-1995,” The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY (catalogue) Traveled to: Greenberg Van Doren
1994 Eli Broad Foundation, Santa Monica, CA
“Cross and Square Grids,” Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japan.
“Elvis + Marilyn: 2 x Immortal,” Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
(exh. cat.)
“Notational Photographs,” Metro Pictures, New York, NY
“Rudiments d’un Musee Possible,” Musee d’art contemporain, Geneva.
“Le Constanti Nell’Arte,” Lia Rumma, Naples, Italy (
“30 Years - Art in the Present Tense,” Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT (
“The Assertive Image: Artists of the Eighties,” UCLA/Armand Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
“Abstraction: A Tradition of Collecting in Miami,” Center For the Fine Arts, Miami (
“Red Windows,” benefit auction, Barneys New York, New York City.
“Punishment + Decoration,” Hohenthal und Bergen, Cologne (
The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica
1993 The Eli Broad Family Foundation, Santa Monica, CA
"Peter Halley Works on Paper," Art & Public, Geneva, Switzerland
"Yale Collects Yale," Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
"Skowhegan '93," Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME
"Building a Collection: The Department of Contemporary Art," The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
"The Tradition of Geometric Abstraction in American Art 1930 – 1990," Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
"Drawing the Line Against AIDS," AmFAR Art Against AIDS, Venice Biennale (exh. cat.)
"Italia-America, L'Astrazione Ridefinita," Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, San Marino (exh. cat.)
"Regard sur une collection d'aujourd'hui," Chateau de Tanlay, Burgundy, France
"Living With Art - The Collection of Ellen & Saul Dennison," The Morris Museum, Morris, NJ
"I Love You More Than My Own Death," Venice Biennale
1992 "Re: Framing Cartoons," Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
"The Ends of Abstraction: Selections from the Douglas S. Cramer Collection," Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA
"C'est pas la fin du monde," Le Musee d'Application, Rennes, France
"Slow Art," P.S.1 Museum, Long Island City, NY
“The City Influence: Ross Bleckner, Peter Halley, Jonathan Lasker,” The Dayton Art Institute’s Museum of Contemporary Art at Wright State University, Dayton, OH
"The Eighties in the Collection of la Caixa Foundation," EXPO'92, Seville, Spain
"Theoretically Yours," Regione Autonoma della Valle d'Aosta Assessorato Pubblica Instruzione, Aosta Valley, Italy
1991 "Peter Halley," capc Musee d'art contemporain, Bordeaux, France; FAE, Musee d'artcontemporain, Pully/Lausanne, Switzerland; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Stedelijk; Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (to 1992) (
"American Art of the 80's," Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Trento, Italy.
"Contemporary Art from The Collection of Jason Rubell," Duke University Art Museum, Durham, NC (exh. cat.)
"1991 Biennal," Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (exh. cat.)
"American Abstraction at the Addison," Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA; Cheekwood, Tennessee Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art, Nashville, TN; Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas; Huntsville Museum of Art, C.A.J.Memorial Gallery; Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport, Rhode Island; Terra Museum of American Art, Huntington Museum of Art (
"Power: Its Myths and Mores in American Art, 1961-1991," Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN; Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA (exh. cat.)
"Art of the 1980's: Selections from the Collection of the Eli Broad Family Foundation," Duke University Museum of Art, Durham, NC
"in anderen Raumen," Krefelder Kunstmuseen, Museen Haus Lange und Haus Esters, Krefeld, Germany (
1990 "Un Art de la Distinction?," Centre d'art contemporain, Abbaye Saint-Andre, Meymac, Correze, France (exh. cat.)
"Word as Image: American Art 1960-1990," Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WS; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX (exh. cat.)
"Modern Detour: R.M. Fischer, Peter Halley, Laurie Simmons," Wiener Secession, Vienna (exh. cat.)
"nonrePRESENTation," Security Pacific Corporation, Los Angeles
(exh. cat.)
"Weitersehen (1980-1990)," Krefelder Kunstmuseen, Museen Haus Esters, Krefeld, Germany
1989 "Peter Halley: Recent Paintings," Krefelder Kunstmuseen, Museen Haus Esters, Krefeld, Germany; Maison de la culture et de la communication de Saint-Etienne, France; Institute of Contemporary Art, London (
“Arterias,” Malmö Konsthall, Malmö, Sweden
“The Evergreen Review Exhibition,” New York
"Horn of Plenty," Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (exh. cat.)
"Abstraction in Question," John and Marble Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL; Center for the Fine Arts, Miami, FL (
"Science-Technology-Abstraction: Art at the End of the Decade," University Art Galleries, Wright State University, Dayton, OH (exh. cat.)
"Ten + Ten: Contemporary Soviet and American Painters," Fort Worth Museum of Art, Fort Worth, TX; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WS; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Artist Union Hall of the Tretyakov, Krymskaia, Embankment, Moscow; State Picture Gallery of Georgia, Tbilisi, Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic; Central Exhibition Hall, Leningrad (exh. cat.)
"Psychological Abstraction," Deste Foundation, Athens (exh. cat.)
"Exposition Inaugurale," Fondation Daniel Templon, MuseeTemporaire, Frejus, France (exh. cat.)
"Wittgenstein, The Play of the Unsayable," Wiener Secession, Vienna; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brusells (exh. cat.)
"Abstraction-Geometry-Painting," Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Center for the Fine Arts, Miami, FL; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WS; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT (exh. cat.)
"Projects and Portfolios: The 26th National Print Exhibition," The Brooklyn Museum, New York (exh. cat.)
1988 "Cultural Geometry," Deste Foundation, Athens (
"Collection Sonnabend," Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; touring to capcMusee d'art contemporain, Bordeaux; Hamburger Banhof, Berlin; Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome; Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Trento, Italy; Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo; Miyagi Museum of Art, Sendai, Japan Fukuyama Museum of Art, Hiroshima, Japan; National Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan (exh. cats.)
"Art at the End of the Social," Rooseum Gasverksgatan, Malmo, Sweden (
"Australian Biennal," Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (exh. cat.)
"La Couleur Seule," Musee Saint Pierre, Lyon (exh. cat.)
"Hybrid Neutral, Modes of Abstraction and the Social," The University of North Texas Gallery, Denton, TX; The J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY; Alberta College Gallery of Art, Alberta, Canada; The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH; Richard F. Brush Art Gallery, Gainesville, FL; St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY; Santa Fe College Art Gallery, Santa Fe, NM (exh. cat.)
"BiNATIONAL: American Art of the Late 80's," Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and The Institute of Contemporary Arts, Boston; touring to Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf; Kunsthalle, Bremen, Germany; Wutlembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Germany (exh. cat.)
"Carnegie International," Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA (exh. cat.)
"A Debate on Abstraction," Hunter College Art Gallery, New York (exh. cat.)
"Viewpoints: Postwar Painting and Sculpture from the Guggenheim Museum Collection and Major Loans," Guggenheim Museum, New York
"Three Decades: The Oliver Hoffman Collection," The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (exh. cat.)
1987 "1987 Biennal," Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (
"Perverted by Language," Hillwood Art Gallery, Long Island University, Greenvale, NY (exh. cat.)
"Avant-Garde in the Eighties," Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
"Post-Abstract Abstraction," The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT (exh. cat.)
"NY Art Now: The Saatchi Collection," London, Parts I & II (exh. cat.)
"Generations of Geometry," Whitney Museum of American Art at Equitable Center, NY
"Currents 12: Simulations, New American Conceptualism," Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WS (
"Terrae Motus," Grand Palais, Paris (exh. cat.)
"New York Now," The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (exh. cat.)
1986 "New New York," Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH
"Painting and Sculpture Today: 1986," Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
"Political Geometries: on the Meaning of Alienation," Hunter College Art Gallery, New York (exh. cat.)
"Europe America," Ludwig Museum, Cologne (exh. cat.)
"End Game: Reference and Simulation in Recent Painting and Sculpture," Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (exh. cat.)
"El arte y su doble," Fundacion Caja de Pensions, Madrid; Fundacio Caixa de Pensions, Barcelona (exh. cat.)
"Rooted Rhetoric," Castel Dell'Ovo, Naples
1985 "A Brave New World, A New Generation," Udstillingsbygnigen, Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; Lunds Konsthall, Malmo, Sweden
Biennale de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
"Currents," Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
1982 "Dangerous Works," Parsons School of Design, New York
1980 Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA
1979 School of Art & Architecture, University of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette, LA
American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York
1978 Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, LA

Selected Installations

2012 “Prison”, Disjecta, Portland, OR
2011 “Judgement Day”, Personal Structures Palazzo Bembo, Venice, Italy
2008 The Gallatin School, New York University, New York
Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome
2005 Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
2003 Banco Suisso d’Italia installation of unique prints, Torino
“Nine Explosions”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
2002 Usera Library, Madrid
1999 “Bilder der 90er Jahre”, Museum Folkwany Essen, Germany
1998/97 “New Concepts in Printmaking I”, Museum of Modern Art, New York
1995 Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
1985 International with Monument, New York


The Golden Age of Abstraction
ARTnews April 2013