New York City native Peter Halley casts Lever House in a soft, soothing yellow glow in his site-specific installation, “New York, New York,” on view through the end of the year. “I grew up in Midtown, just a few blocks from Lever House,” he said in a statement. “It was constructed the year before I was born, so it was always part of the landscape of my childhood. The lobby is a classic Mies van der Rohe glass box. It provided an irresistible opportunity to create a postmodern intervention within this paradigmatic modernist space.”
A Neo‐Conceptualist who was a key part of the downtown arts scene in the 1980s and later founded INDEX magazine, Halley surrounds a central architectural structure with Day-Glo paintings that incorporate his love of geometric patterns he calls “prisons,” “cells,” and “conduits,” relating to technological and social connections.
Inside the structure is a series of rooms that change color with shifting lighting effects, revealing walls of cartoon explosions and dreamlike, diagrammed latticework, as if the spectator has entered deep into Halley’s paintings — and his mind. One experiences both confinement and escape in the work, shielded from the outside world until you have to again face the madness that is Midtown Manhattan.