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Peter Halley - Antesteria

Peter Halley - Antesteria Museo Nivola 2021

The installation 'Antesteria' by Peter Halley is on view at Museo Nivola, Sardinia until 18 August. Halley has been working with digitally generated mural works since the 1990s. The project for Museo Nivola is installed in the old public washhouse used by the museum for temporary exhibitions and focusses on this aspect of his work. The title of the installation 'Antesteria' references a festival in Athen honoring Dyonisus and the arrival of Spring.


Halley has worked with the 'Exploding Cell' motif repeatedly in installation projects, for example in his large installation in the Rotunda of Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2016), and in his monumental mural installation 'Weak Force', which Galerie Thomas Modern presented at Art Basel Unlimited 2016.

With regard to form and content, the 'Exploding Cell' stands in an apparent contradiction to the geometrically governed compositions of Halley’s paintings. The chaotic-expressive energy erupting from these vibrant images is in complete opposition to the strictly delimited, rectangular colour planes of the cells, prisons and conduits that make up his paintings.

In fact, 'Explosion' also describes the acute state of sudden resolution of the rigid diagrammatic structure, the prevailing enforced order that Peter Halley focuses on in his paintings. The explosion is thus a different, new state of the rigid 'Cells', and therein lies the artist’s intended ambivalence of the explosion: it is not destruction but liberation. The geometrical grid that determines our lives – from the distribution and communication networks, via the cellular organisation of buildings and cities, through to technology micro-networks of every kind – broken up and set free to allow a different, individual design.


In 2017, Galerie Thomas Modern jointly published an edition with Peter Halley titled "Explosion". Here, the 'Exploding Cell' motif is set against a glossy silver background. The works are remarkable for their special, sophisticated printing technique and high-quality presentation and are published in a very small edition of only 16 prints – all hand-signed, dated and numbered by the artist. "Explosion" is available exclusively from Galerie Thomas Modern

  • Peter Halley - Explosion
  • Peter Halley - Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt - 2017
  • GALERIE THOMAS Halley Weak Force Art Basel Unlimited 2016 Zuschnitt
  • GALERIE THOMAS Halley Weak Force Unlimited 2016 Instshot1 m

Peter Halley, Edition "Explosion", © Galerie Thomas Modern 2017
Peter Halley, The Schirn Ring, Schirn Kunsthalle 2016, © Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 2016,
Foto: Norbert Miguletz, © Galerie Thomas Modern 2017
Peter Halley, Installation 'Weak Force', Art Basel Unlimited, ©Photoservice Art Basel 2016