Peter Halley and Allesandro Mendini Exhibition Runs thru 6/29 at Mary Boone Gallery
New York artist Peter Halley and Italian architect and designer Alessandro Mendini are exhibiting their latest collaborative project at Mary Boone Gallery, 745 Fifth Avenue, from 2 May to 29 June 2013.
The exhibition features nine new Halley paintings installed on digitally-printed wallpaper designed by Mendini in his atelier in Milan, Italy.
Halley's paintings continue to use his now-iconic cell and prison imagery, however, now with a satirical, playful tone. Compact in size (no dimension is greater than five feet), his once-grounded structures are now seemingly suspended from their conduits or hover freely above their solid backgrounds. Mendini's brightly colored wallpaper is printed in three different meter-wide modules, which are repeated in varying sequences around the Gallery. Halley, who has long been interested in the interaction between his paintings and architecture, invited Mendini to design this wall mural to create an intense interaction between his painting and the architectural setting created by Mendini's intervention.
This exhibition is the first collaboration in the United States for Halley and Mendini. Two previous projects also paired paintings by Halley and wall-works by Mendini. In 2005, as designer of the Byblos Art Hotel in Verona, Italy, Mendini painted a wall mural to accompany Halley's two commissioned paintings. Subsequently, in 2008, Halley and Mendini first collaborated on an installation at Galleria Massimo Minini in Brescia, Italy. For this site-specific work, the artist and architect, responding to each other's email sketches, developed an immersive environment with Halley's paintings exhibited against Mendini's dynamic wall mural. At Mary Boone Gallery in New York, the two have paired once again on an installation -- their email exchanges of designs and samples provoking a dialogue about their mutual influences, creative practice, and the space of the Gallery.
Halley was first recognized in the mid-1980s for his high-keyed austere paintings that diagram contemporary social space. Since the mid-1990s, he has also created site-specific installations integrating his work in painting with digitally produced wall prints. He was awarded the Frank Jewett Mather Award for excellence in art criticism by the College Art Association in 2001 for his critical essays addressing art and societal change. He served as the Director of Graduate Studies in Painting and Printmaking at the Yale School of Art from 2002 to 2011. From 1996 to 2005 he published index magazine, featuring in-depth interviews with creative people from all fields. A compilation of 26 of his critical essays dealing with French Post-Structuralism, Neo-Conceptual Art, and the concept of modernism, entitled Selected Essays 1981-2001, will be released by Edgewise Press in May 2013.
Mendini, born in Milan in 1931, is an architect and designer. Founder and former partner in the co-operative design firm Alchimia in Milan, Italy (1976-1991), Mendini is known for his objects, furniture, interiors and installations. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, he directed Italian design magazines such as Casabella and Domus, and has authored several books on design, including Paesaggio Casalingo, Architettura Addio, and Il Progetto Infelice. He is an honorary member of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design of Jerusalem and has been awarded with the Italian prize for design and architecture, the Compasso d'Oro. He holds an honorary title from the Architectural League of New York as well as the title of "Chevalier des arts et des lettres" in France. He is a designer, architect and image consultant for Cartier, Venini, Alessi, Swarovski, Swatch, and Bisazza. Mendini has also organized a multitude of exhibitions and seminars, and is on the advisory panel of the Domus Academy in Milan, Italy. With his brother Francesco, he opened the Atelier Mendini in Milan in 1989. Within the Atelier, he has designed such projects as a memorial tower for the seaport of Hiroshima, Japan; the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands; and the Arosa Casino in Switzerland. His work is represented in museums and private collections all over the world. Mendini considers his work a utopian puzzle that cannot be resolved -- each project he has completed is the result of his desire to reach what he calls an "impossible synthesis".
The Peter Halley and Alessandro Mendini collaborative project will remain on view at Mary Boone Gallery, 745 Fifth Avenue, through 29 June 2013.