Exhibition XVI

    The Awakening: Peter Halley, and Pietro Roccasalva

    “what Halley’s paintings and Roccasalva’s works share is the ‘quest’, which goes quite far back in literature, as you know. Making that connection – which the exhibition’s juxtaposition clarifies – surprised me. I went from there.”



    it a dream

    or the memory of a dream

    the man to my left whispers
    the man who is made of wood

    color of carbon
    same as me
    is talking, hesitating, singing

    a dream that came down from a mountain
    or rose up from the sky
    or did this apparition come up from a mountain
    or descend from a gold and turquoise inlaid sky

    this black dome we are hauling
    yes, you and I and he
    the triangle of pronouns

    is a ribbed parachute
    that never crumples
    a form of prayer
    down which rain

    if such a thing exists
    we hold our breath
    the air we breathe

    brimming with fine white sand
    coming from all directions

    including the road on which we are traveling
    wind dictates this poem
    white sand writes it down
    with a finger or a stick

    but its words are like a blind camel
    pointing toward
    the dream stops being a dream
    it is winter the sand is snow

    the man on my right whispers
    this is not a dream
    but the shadow it casts across the camel’s path
    cannot be seen by anyone who can see

    the desire to be aware of the air on your neck
    and the geometry of that desire
    dictates this poem

    a hand of glass or lead writes it down
    there are three men accompanying the camel
    pulling this black cart deeper into the poem

    this apparition you can reach out and almost touch
    this arrangement of sounds ringing in your head
    this almost song

    -By John Yau

    Peter Halley was born in New York City. He received his BA from Yale University and his MFA from the University of New Orleans in 1978, remaining in New Orleans until 1980. Since 1980, Halley has lived and worked in New York. Halley has had one-person museum exhibitions at the CAPC Musee d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux (1991), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (1992), the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1992), the Des Moines Art Center (1992), the Dallas Museum of Art (1995), the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1997), the Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art (1998), the Museum Folkwang, Essen (1998), and the Butler Institute of American Art (1999), International with Monument Gallery, NYC, NY. (1985), Sonnabend Gallery, NYC, NY.( 1987) 1988, Gallery Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich, Switzerland (1989), Peter Halley: Recent Paintings, Krefelder Kunstmuseen (1989,The Eli Broad Family Foundation, Santa Monica, California. (1994), Peter Halley: Drawings/Four Decades, Gering & López Gallery, NYC, NY (2011), Peter Halley: Paintings 2012-2013, Waddington Custot Galleries, London, England. (2013), Mottahedan Projects, Dubai, UAE (2013) Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY. (with Alessandro Mendini) (2013), Peter Halley: Since 2000, Musée d’Art Moderne Saint-Étienne Métropole, Saint-Étienne, France. (2014), Peter Halley: Prisons, Friedrich Schiller University, The Depot, Jena, Germany, Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Connecticut (2015)

    Pietro Roccasalva was born in 1970 in Modica, Italy. Roccasalva studied at Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera and continues to live and work in Milan. Among his recent solo exhibitions are, The Wooden O, Galleria Zero, Milan, Italy (2015): The Queen of Gaps, Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium (2014); F.E.S.T.A., Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany (2014); The Unborn Museum at Le Magasin in Grenoble, France (2013); Mottahedan Projects, Dubai, UAE (2013); The Strange Young Neighbours at David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles (2012); Unicuique Suum Fussball at Johnen Galerie in Berlin (2010); Art Statements at Art 39 Basel (2008); and Z, CCS Bard at Seventh Regiment Armory in New York (2008). His work has also appeared in Fare Mondi/Making Worlds at 53rd International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale (2009); Manifesta 7, in Trentino-Alte Adige/Südtirol, Italy (2008); Italics: Arte Italiana fra Tradizione e Rivoluzione 1968-2008 at Palazzo Grassi, Venice, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2008-09).