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A Crisis in Geometry: From Square to Prison | Talk with Peter Halley


Mudam Auditorium
Within the framework of the exhibition

Peter Halley. Conduits: Paintings from the 1980s





Assembling thirty key works from public and private collections, Mudam’s current retrospective survey of Peter Halley’s early work presents paintings alongside previously unseen drawings, sketches and notes.

This special artist lecture, given on the occasion of this exhibition, takes its title from Halley’s influential 1984 essay which began by contending: ‘Where once geometry provided a sign of stability, order, and proportion, today it offers an array of shifting signifiers and images of confinement and deterrence.’ During the 1980s Halley redeployed the language of geometric abstraction, developing a pictorial system of ‘prisons’, ‘cells’ and ‘conduits’. In this talk he addresses the genesis of this singular vocabulary, which has been central to his work now for over forty years and considers its social, economic, cultural and political origins as well as its evolution in his work today.

Artist Peter Halley giving a guided tour of his exhibition at Mudam.
Peter Halley
© Photo : Marion Dessard | Mudam Luxembourg