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Peter Halley

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (1987) by Peter Halley (b. 1953, New York) is composed of 4 separate components; 3 square monochrome canvases, supported by a long, thin panel painted with a red and black stripe. The work belongs to a series of four-panel paintings that Halley made in the mid 1980’s that are titled after Italian and French films from the 1960’s. The title of this painting derives from a 1963 comedy Ieri, Oggi, Domani, directed by Vittorio De Sica (b. 1901, Sora – d. 1974, Neuilly-sur-Seine).

The composition employs a formal vocabulary that Halley developed in the early 1980’s and has employed since that time. Each of the three grey square panels represent ‘cells’ which are connected by a fluorescent-coloured ‘conduit’. Halley refers to the increasingly alienating effects of post-industrial society, where individuals often live in close proximity to each other but in the private space of their own apartment. Such ‘cells’ are connected by communication and electricity circuits and pipes that conduct the flow of air and water. Painted in the advent of the internet and in the first decade of the personal computer, Halley reflects pervasive cultures of social, psychological and technological conditioning and can be read as an image of confinement.


  1. Peter Halley Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, 1987

    Quatre panneaux joints
    Acrylique, acrylique fluorescente, Flashe sur toile
    158 x 487,5 cm
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 1998 – Apport FOCUNA
    Vue de l’exposition Peter Halley. Conduits: Paintings from the 1980s, Mudam Luxembourg, 31.03 – 15.10.2023
    © Photo : Mareike Tocha | Mudam Luxembourg

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