About Cathy Halstead

Cathy Halstead (born 1948) is an American abstract artist. Her practice ranges from the molecular arrangements of matter visualized in atomic microscopes to expansive acrylics, some eighteen feet long, dioramas of the infrared and ultraviolet images from the Hubble Space Telescope combined with complex spectographs of gamma-ray bursts, clumps of gas and cosmic dust, forces of the universe hidden to the human eye that underlie the constant unfolding of time, transformed into instinctive striations, fronds, folioles, and stalks: a cross between the cosmos and tropical vegetation.

Halstead’s work explores the similarities between the infinitesimal and the infinite, between the geometric and the fractal, between the repetition of invisible but essential patterns in nature that support our own presence there.

Painting in a period which followed the black and white ethos of the 1970’s, Halstead drew instead from the explosive tropical vegetation of her early life in the Caribbean and the south of France. Her paintings are as much about color as they are about their underlying metaphors.

During her career, Halstead was represented by galleries in New York, L.A., Chicago, and Haifa, and was shown by them at Art Basel and Art Miami.

With her husband she founded the Tippet Rise Art Center north of Yellowstone National Park on a 12,000-acre Montana ranch, where large-scale land art and architecture play off Cretaceous geologic formations in the shadow of the Beartooth Mountains. Tippet Rise is an intersection where art, music, land, sky, and poetry weave together into an algorithm which is greater than the sum of its parts.

Halstead founded with her husband the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation, which gathers poems from across places, eras, and traditions for audiences worldwide. In partnership with celebrated poetry institutions, the foundation transforms great poems from page to film, creating new opportunities to discover the music of language.

She has been married for forty-three years to Peter Halstead, whose music, photos, and poems are woven into her paintings and collages.

Halstead attended Connecticut College, Barnard College, and New York University. She has painted since she was a child.