Boats Crosses Trees Figures 1977-78
Text by Richard Speer
Karma, New York, 2017
136 pages, hardcover
12 1/4 x 10 1/4 inches
A survey of Peter Halley’s (born 1953) early works on paper made during his years as a graduate student at the University of New Orleans. Already pointing clearly to the pictorial concerns that he would focus on throughout his career these works initiate Halley’s interest in the interaction of opposites, primarily abstraction and figuration but also interior and exterior, foreground and background, light and dark, appearance and disappearance. Inspired by the color and sound of New Orleans, Halley translates the physical world into bright, geometric compositions constructed of gridded squares of color, where, through the combination of formal severity and openness as equal partners, seemingly simple compositions turn into complex amalgams of various possible views of an image and its space.