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Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds Ocula Conversation Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds

Geometric patterns, anthropomorphic characters, architectural spatial environments, and relics of the ancient world appear throughout Jess Johnson's artworks.Johnson's solo art-ventures began in drawing, but her long-term collaborative relationship with animator Simon Ward brings her drawings to life in videos and virtual reality. The animator has...

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Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger Ocula Conversation Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger

In 2012, Melati Suryodarmo opened Studio Plesungan in her native Surakarta, also known as Solo, the historic royal capital of the Mataram Empire of Java in Indonesia. Suryodarmo had returned to Indonesia from Germany, where she studied Butoh and choreography with Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa, time-based media with avantgarde...

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Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City Ocula Report Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City 15 Nov 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Under the direction of Folakunle Oshun, the second edition of the Lagos Biennial (26 October–23 November 2019) includes works by over 40 Lagos-based and international artists, architects, and collectives. Curated by architect Tosin Oshinowo, curator and producer Oyindamola Fakeye, and assistant curator of photography at the Art Institute of...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Peter Halley

b. 1953, USA

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' that reflect the increasing geometricization of social space. Inspired by New York City’s gridded urban plan and by his own isolation within it, he imagines the abstract shape as a barred prison cell connected to the outside world through electronic communication.

Largely associated with Neo-Conceptualism and Minimalist art, Peter Halley is famed for his vibrantly-coloured geometrical paintings, often described as square prisons. Halley challenges the concept of space, viewing his principle motif, the square, as a metaphor for confinement. Reflecting the idea of prisons, solitary themes play crucial to Halley’s work. The artist refers to the time when he first arrived in New York, recollecting the isolated hardships he faced upon living alone. The importance of solitary isolation in his work is further enhanced by his intensely bright, almost fluorescent, colour palette, which has often been interpreted as a clear movement away from the natural world. Using Roll-a-Tex and Day-Glo paint as his main material sources, Halley’s art thus transcends modern principles as a reflection of contemporary society.

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Featured Artworks

View All (17)
Component by Peter Halley contemporary artwork
Peter HalleyComponent, 2000 Pearlescent acrylic and Roll-A-Tex on two adjoined canvasses
170 x 150 cm
Almine Rech
Yesterday by Peter Halley contemporary artwork
Peter HalleyYesterday, 2019 Metallic acrylic and Roll-A-Tex on canvas
228.6 x 177.8 x 10.2 cm
Modern Art
Cell by Peter Halley contemporary artwork
Peter HalleyCell, 1983 Acrylic and Roll-A-Tex on unprimed canvas
152 x 203 cm
Almine Rech
Three Prisons by Peter Halley contemporary artwork
Peter HalleyThree Prisons, 2009 Acrylic, Day-Glo acrylic and Roll-a-Tex on canvas
213.4 x 160 cm
Sold
Waddington Custot
Raising Hope II by Peter Halley contemporary artwork
Peter HalleyRaising Hope II, 2013 Acrylic, Day-Glo acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas
114.3 x 73.7 cm
Sold
Waddington Custot
Dust by Peter Halley contemporary artwork
Peter HalleyDust, 2009 Acrylic, Day-Glo acrylic and Roll-a-Tex on canvas
203.2 x 144.8 cm
Sold
Waddington Custot
Untitled (magenta cell) (6/22/99.4) by Peter Halley contemporary artwork
Peter HalleyUntitled (magenta cell) (6/22/99.4), 2001 Acrylic paints on laser-printed paper
61 x 45.7 cm
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Waddington Custot
Untitled (blue cell) (6/8/99.5) by Peter Halley contemporary artwork
Peter HalleyUntitled (blue cell) (6/8/99.5), 2000 Acrylic paints on laser-printed paper
28 x 21.6 cm
Sold
Waddington Custot

Represented By

In Related Press

Peter Halley at Sperone Westwater and Lever House Related Press Peter Halley at Sperone Westwater and Lever House Art in America : 1 February 2019

A central fixture in New York's conceptualist Neo-Geo scene of the 1980s, Peter Halley's work all but disappeared from the city's galleries by the start of the '90s, and for the subsequent decade was exhibited chiefly abroad. Sperone Westwater's recent show comprised ten paintings Halley made between 1997 and 2002 that are owned by Gian Enzo...

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Where are they now? Tracking the Neo-geometric Conceptualists. Related Press Where are they now? Tracking the Neo-geometric Conceptualists. LEAP Magazine : 4 April 2016

We live in a state of the perpetual present. With the revolving door of exhibitions in more and more venues, commercial and scholarly alike, thousands of artists appear on a relatively flat plane of aesthetics. This is good for a lot of things—fair art criticism among them—but it tends to hurt our understanding, as viewers, of where the...

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