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Peter Halley: ‘Making Flippy Floppy’ | Lecture with Paul Pieroni


Mudam Auditorium
Within the framework of the exhibition

Peter Halley. Conduits: Paintings from the 1980s

A lecture by

Dr. Paul Pieroni



Having completed studies at Yale and The University of New Orleans, in 1980 Peter Halley returned to his hometown in New York City, took a studio in the East Village, and began to paint. Within six years he would become one of the most talked about artists in America. In this lecture, curator and art historian Dr Paul Pieroni will explore how Halley’s paintings of the 1980s construct new chains of meaning between American minimalist abstract painting and sculpture from the 1950s and 1960s and a range of social forms and urban textures particular to New York City. Pushing back against arguments about 1980s postmodernist art as historical amnesia (Fredric Jameson), or market-complicit conventionalism (Hal Foster), Dr. Pieroni will read Halley’s ‘Neo-geo’ as one example of how postmodernist strategies such as pastiche and double-coding functioned as vehicles for historical orientation during a decade otherwise marked by disorientating economic, social, and cultural change.

Dr. Paul Pieroni is a curator and art historian based in Glasgow. He recently completed a PhD on Peter Halley’s paintings of the 1980s at The University of Edinburgh. Prior to this he was the Senior Curator at The Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow; Curator of the 2015 Turner Prize; and Exhibitions Curator at Space Studios, London. His writing has appeared in Frieze, Flash Art, and Art Review, amongst other publications. He has taught at The University of Edinburgh; Glasgow School of Art; ZHDK, Zurich; and The Royal College of Art, London.


A gray painting with two white squares and black bars on it.
Peter Halley, "Freudian Painting", 1981. The Broad Art Foundation, Los Angeles
© Photo : Mareike Tocha | Mudam Luxembourg