May 11, 2016 - Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt - Peter Halley: The Schirn Ring
May 11, 2016

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt

Peter Halley. The Schirn Ring, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 2016. Photo: Norbert Miguletz.

Peter Halley
The Schirn Ring
May 12–August 21, 2016

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Römerberg
60311 Frankfurt am Main
Germany

www.schirn.de
Facebook / Twitter / YouTube / Instagram / Pinterest / #PeterHalley / #TheSchirnRing / #Schirn

Peter Halley
The Schirn Ring
May 12–August 21, 2016

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Römerberg
60311 Frankfurt am Main
Germany

www.schirn.de
Facebook / Twitter / YouTube / Instagram / Pinterest / #PeterHalley / #TheSchirnRing / #Schirn

From May 12 to August 21, 2016 the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is presenting the installation The Schirn Ring by the American artist Peter Halley (*1953). Halley has developed a multi-part installation, using the architecture and spatial conditions of the Rotunda and the Schirn Kunsthalle as his starting point. Halley sees them as loaded with cultural associations: the Rotunda’s form echoes that of the nearby historical, Neo-classical Paulskirche. At the same time, it is on axis with the adjacent Frankfurt Dom. From there, Halley went on to explore analogous elements in the architecture of the Schirn Rotunda and the design of the CERN Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. He imagined the Rotunda itself as a high-energy collider full of explosive energy bathed in yellow light.

Max Hollein, the curator of the exhibition and the director of the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, comments: “Peter Halley’s works have a strong seismographic quality: in his geometric-abstract pictures and his location-specific installations he casts an analytical and critical look at the spatial, communicative and organizational structures which dominate people’s everyday lives. Today as our lives are being shaped and changed by the algorithms of the digital industry and by the superficial charms of the media world, we are standing in the middle of a Halley composition.”

Taking up the idea of the particle accelerator, Halley charges the entire space of the Schirn Rotunda with energy. Sunlight entering from the skylight passes through a 14 meter translucent disc, filling the space with an artificial yellow light; the entire floor is painted yellow to further intensify the effect, while two floors of the Rotunda’s perimeter are clad with a grid of 3-meter-high reflective digital prints using Halley’s semi-abstract explosion images repeated 28 times in two rows. In the circular galleries surrounding the Rotunda, the artist has made two additional immersive installations. In the first floor gallery, Halley has covered the walls from floor to ceiling with a digitally printed mural illuminated only with ultraviolet black light. Rendered in delicate glowing white lines on a deep blue background, Halley has reproduced, with myriad repetitions, his computer-drawn studies for his prison paintings, transforming the wall into an endless luminous grid. Visitors follow a route around this closed circle, from which they cannot look out into the open space. Under the black light, the feeling of disorientation becomes intentionally heightened. On the entire wall of the second floor gallery, against a yellow background, Halley presents a montage of drawings reproduced from his sketchbooks of the 1980s (presented publicly here for the first time), mixed together with diagrams from the Large Hadron Collider and other notations taken from the particle physics. The Schirn Ring culminates in a final exhibition room that visitors enter through a doorway in the second floor corridor gallery. In this gallery, Halley has placed several more works from the early years of his career. His pioneering painting, Rectangular Prison with Smokestack from the year 1987, holds center stage. It is accompanied by two wall-size flow-chart diagrams from the late 1990s, demonstrating Halley’s early interest in the algorithms that were beginning to dominate digital processes. Lastly, the artist has included a digital animation video of 1983, Exploding Cell. Using an early video game syntax, it depicts a narrative in which one of Halley’s cells becomes filled with red-hot gas and explodes. With this early video, Halley refers back to the theme of "the explosion" that dominates the Rotunda. In so doing, he reminds us that his work has come full circle in this major installation, The Schirn Ring.

The artist and cultural theorist Peter Halley has lived and worked in New York City for over 35 years. Halley’s works have been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the world. His first solo exhibition in Germany was held in the Museum Haus Esters in Krefeld in 1989. In 1992–93, a survey exhibition of his work was organized by the CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux, travelling to the FAE Musée d’Art Contemporain in Lausanne, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In 1998 the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented an exhibition focusing on Halley’s work in printmaking. Since 2000, in addition to his ongoing painting practice, Halley has created site-specific permanent installations for the Daimler Benz in Stuttgart (2003), at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Texas (2005), the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University (2008), among others. This spring, his works are on view in galleries in Barcelona and Knokke.

Director: Max Hollein
Curator: Max Hollein
Press contact: Pamela Rohde (Head of Press/Public Relations):
T (+49 69) 29 98 82 148 / F (+49 69) 29 98 82 240 / presse [​at​] schirn.de
Press material: www.schirn.de/en (texts, images, and films for download under PRESS)

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