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Collision Circuit

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Day-glo acrylic, acrylic and Roll-a-Tex on canvas
97 3/4 x 95 in. (248.29 x 241.3 cm)

About This Artwork

Peter Halley limits the vocabulary of his painting to images of cells, circuits, and conduits. These images stand in for the organizational building blocks of social systems. In Halley’s own words, the works depict “icons that reflect the increasing geometricization of social space in the world in which we live.” Here, humans are seen only obliquely and symbolically, through patterns that contain them. In Collision Circuit, the circuit is an assertive, looming presence, painted flat in some areas and rendered through shifting surface textures in others. A black square is fed by inputs and outputs, as though it is positioned in a series of connections beyond the frame. In the middle of the composition, the broad black form suggests a face, like a portrait of a human life impacted by forces outside of its control.