The resulting visual compositions engage the eye and senses through the interplay of large forms parsed by smaller sections, textural shifts, and luminous colors. Each of the gallery's three rooms will include a maximum of two vertical paintings, so as to deliberately focus the viewer's attention on specific works and their relationship with each other in the space.
Hathaway's paintings are experientially meditative and visually kaleidoscopic. He works sections of stained, raw canvas and single-tone acrylic into colorful compositions of repetitive geometry, building upon histories of Color Field painting and Minimalist painting and sculpture. Multiple, intersecting arcs produce repeated curvilinear forms, providing a flexible structure for joyous colors that evoke elements of the natural world. His paintings materialize an intensive studio practice that includes various repetitive physical processes and the development of clearly devised systems for ordering relationships between colors. Rotating large hand-cut stencils across each work, Hathaway creates a hand-drawn linear framework that he then fills, first with stains and then with noticeably thicker paint. In some paintings over-layers of tactile acrylic record the hues of stains that were added early in the painting's process. In other works Hathaway has brushed-on opaque paint in the opposite color order from the stains, recording an inverse relationship. He categorizes these different methods with titles such as 'retrogressive' and 'chiasmus,' a rhetorical construction in which words and concepts in the same phrase are repeated later on in reverse.
These new paintings visualize the artist's own study and re-examination of his previous ways of structuring color environments. This period of self-critique was instigated by the intense solitude forced by the onset of the pandemic in 2020 and the broader social upheaval and reexamination of institutions and leadership that intensified later in the summer. The final paintings in this exhibition stage a contemplative experience for the viewer through optical engagement and presence. Perhaps the viewer may leave the gallery with a heightened experience of his, her, or their own shifts in perception and consciousness.
Halsey Hathaway was born in Buffalo, NY, in 1980 and lives and works in Queens, NY. He received a BFA from the Pratt Institute in 2002 and an MFA from Hunter College in 2006. His solo exhibition "Halsey Hathaway: Through Kaleidoscopic Eyes" is on view at SOCO Gallery Charlotte, North Carolina, through March 5th. His works have been exhibited at SOCO Gallery, Charlotte, NC, Kristen Lorello, NY, Museo de los Pintores Oaxaquenos, Oaxaca, Mexico, Rawson Projects, NY, Denny Gallery, NY, and Valerie McKenzie Gallery, NY, among others. Hathaway is the recipient of a Tony Smith Award from Hunter College (2006) and a New York Foundation for the Arts painting fellowship (2010). His works are included in the collections of the New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Credit Suisse Collection, among others.