American painter, born in New York. While studying at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, he read The Interaction of Colour by Josef Albers. He graduated in art history from Yale University in 1976. Halley has been one of the leading figures of the Neo-Geo movement, the term itself being more applicable to him than most of the other artists to which it has been applied. His paintings took the devices of the geometric abstraction of the early 20th century but stripped them of their idealist philosophy and Utopian aspirations. Their designs tend to recall electrical circuits or conduits of information. The implicit architectural metaphors of early abstractionists have become signs for the apparatus of social control. Halley is an intellectually sophisticated theorist who has drawn on thinkers such as Jean Baudrillard. Nonetheless, the considerable appeal which his paintings have had for collectors probably owes more to his skill in the manipulation of colour than to the intellectual weight they bear.
D. Birnbaum, ‘Peter Halley’, Artforum International (September 1999)