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View of “Peter Halley,” 2017. From left: The Line, 2017; Revolt, 2017; Rift, 2017.

Peter Halley

Greene Naftali Gallery

View of “Peter Halley,” 2017. From left: The Line, 2017; Revolt, 2017; Rift, 2017.

Peter Halley’s latest show—his first with Greene Naftali—was spectacular, though severely and queasily so. Setting the tone for severity, the artist commandeered the Brutalist ambience of the gray, cinderblock-enclosed courtyard adjacent to the gallery entrance with a prominently placed, bodily scaled, faux-concrete-and-asphalt work from 1994, Cell with Conduit, thrust several inches out from the wall by a hefty steel armature. A distilled (one-cell, one-conduit), quintessential Halley composition that signaled, as always, a core contemporary paradox—the isolating effect of mediated connection—the work looked like a company logo emblazoning the facade of a sci-fi industrial complex. On the back wall just to the right, a large, reflective, metallic print bearing a one-to-one reproduction of the surface to which it was adhered, amplified the gathering sense of

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