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Cathy Halstead’s Paintings Are Now Online

June 30, 2023

Tippet Rise co-founder Cathy Halstead and her husband Peter have always shared a fascination with the invisible underpinnings of existence, such as supernovas, microscopic organisms, DNA spirals, the trompe-l’oeil of ocular phenomena; her paintings and his poetry interweave. Some of these poems can be accessed by clicking on the paintings on Cathy’s new website.

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

Cathy: “I still treasure the paintings I made as I was growing up. My first painting was very abstract. I made it in nursery school. My father hung it on his bathroom door, and I was thrilled. One of my early paintings was a self portrait, a Giacometti-like undulation of my shadow. At some point, the flowers and vines of Antigua just exploded out of me. I’m delighted to share my paintings in a new medium.”

Cathy’s work resonates beyond her paintings. When Francis Kéré was designing Xylem, the 2,100-square-foot gathering pavilion on the banks of Grove Creek, he came across in Berlin a series of abstract prints that Cathy had created for Lufthansa many years before. He based the undulations of Xylem’s seating on Cathy’s images of waving amoebas.

Cathy was represented by galleries in New York, L.A., Chicago, and Haifa, and was shown by them at Art Basel and Art Miami. The paintings on the site were done between 1980 to 1999 and were photographed by John Bedell at sites around the world in the early 2000s.

The paintings and poems are now online at

River in the Sky (1992) by Cathy Halstead, 50 x 72 inches