New York

Peter Halley

Sonnabend Gallery

Where Helmut Federle's work tells us that certain subjective possibilities are still alive, Peter Halley's work tells us about the abstract objective actuality that we inhabit. Put another way, he shows us abstract art as one more manipulation within a world manipulated by technologically inspired abstractions. In a sense, his art continues the work of technologizing and systematizing abstraction that began with Josef Albers' reduction of it to interactions of color. But Albers' paintings still had pretensions to spirituality—or at least paid it lip service through their titles.

Halley's paintings deny the possibility of “metaphysical” abstraction altogether, although they clearly demonstrate his desire to convey a complex content in an emblematic fashion. This content is suggested in the works shown here by Two Cells with Circulating Conduit, 1987, a vestige of Halley's earlier mode, and

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