On Sunday, “Prison,” Peter Halley’s first exhibition in the Northwest, opens at Disjecta, a non-profit space in Portland. The site-specific installation is a digitally generated mural of repeated prison icons, covering three walls of Disjecta’s 3000 square foot gallery. As in previous work, the project unites Halley’s interest in visual and architectural systems, but the new work attempts to create an immersive experience that weds the “geometry of the social with the mall-level spectacle of saturated fluorescent
“Prison” is essentially a collage of simple studies for Halley’s prison paintings, lit with green colored theater lights. The background is printed in an olive green and the line work is dark magenta.
Halley says he wanted to create “a gloomy, Samuel Beckett interior of endless prisons.”
For previous site-specific installations, Halley has delivered mural-sized variations of his vibrantly-colored geometric conduit imagery, which he links to the deconstructionism of Jean Baudrillard and Michel Foucault and the social experience of space in our society. The “Prison” installation marks Halley’s first attempt to incorporate theater lighting into the mix, which seems to add a compelling emotional component to his hard-edged, resolutely cheerful abstraction.
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