Halsey Hathaway creates his meditative works through combining techniques of color field and hard edge abstraction. He begins a painting by staining raw canvas with overlaying forms of color. New shapes appear and disappear through this repeated layerings, often lending impressions of silhouetted organic forms and figures. He then paints over top of the stained grounds in thick opaque paint, creating hard edges that contrast and complement the flatness of the stained canvas below. His color choices reference mid-century art and design while exploring our ever evolving relationship to color. His artistic influence ranges from religious iconography to American Modernism like Morris Louis and Sol Lewitt, as well as contemporary painters such as Chris Ofili and Suzan Frecon. As Jeff Frederick from Art In America notes: “Hathaway's color choices have a 1980s decorator feel to them: pinks and peaches, olive and gold, mint green and royal blue. These are Frank Stella's hues of the late '60s and early '70s, which became popular with designers in the '80s, but they've come back here in a fine art context.”
Hathaway is interested in the way paintings are constructed, and then perceived by the viewer. “Everything comes from the act of painting--- each work informing the next and developing it’s own language over time. I think a lot about perceptual psychology in a hope of understanding the subjectivity of how the viewing experience works, not in an attempt to control it, but to enhance the experience of looking at a painting. That’s really my main interest.”
Halsey Hathaway (American, B. 1980)
Hathaway has been making this body of work for over a decade, and has exhibited throughout North and Central America. He was recently included in the exhibition PaintersNYC at Paramo Galleria, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico which then travelled to Museo de los Pintores Oaxaquenos, Oaxaca, Mexico as well as
Site/Displace at Kristen Lorello, New York (2014); Drawings, Denny Gallery, New York (2013); Cathedral: Architecture and Atmosphere, Silas Marder Gallery, Bridgehampton (2013); New Paintings, Storefront Bushwick, Brooklyn (2012) and Line and Plane, McKenzie Fine Art, New York (2012) as well as three solo exhibitions at Rawson Projects, New York. Hathaway has been awarded the Tony Smith Award from Hunter College and was a fellow in painting from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Halsey Hathaway lives and works in New York.