Alex Hay

American , born 1930

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Alex Hay

American , born 1930

Biography

Alex Hay’s interest in Pop and Conceptual Art grew out of his involvement in the performance art, Happenings, and avant-garde dance of the 1960s. He would go on to make monumental paintings, drawings, and sculptures of everyday objects—cash register receipts, toilet paper, a paper airplane, an egg on a plate—notable for their manipulation of scale (some reach eight feet). After a long hiatus, Hay resumed painting magnified images in 2002, but this time around, only of wood. On mid-sized canvases he reproduces all of his subject’s variations of grain, layers of paint, and effects of weathering. As critic Robert White described, he “has seemingly stripped his work of any symbolic significance in favor of a purely material and perceptual investigation.” Yet insofar as wood is a mass-produced commodity, Pop ideas still exist beneath the reductive surface, albeit reconfigured.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 3 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial
Biography

Alex Hay’s interest in Pop and Conceptual Art grew out of his involvement in the performance art, Happenings, and avant-garde dance of the 1960s. He would go on to make monumental paintings, drawings, and sculptures of everyday objects—cash register receipts, toilet paper, a paper airplane, an egg on a plate—notable for their manipulation of scale (some reach eight feet). After a long hiatus, Hay resumed painting magnified images in 2002, but this time around, only of wood. On mid-sized canvases he reproduces all of his subject’s variations of grain, layers of paint, and effects of weathering. As critic Robert White described, he “has seemingly stripped his work of any symbolic significance in favor of a purely material and perceptual investigation.” Yet insofar as wood is a mass-produced commodity, Pop ideas still exist beneath the reductive surface, albeit reconfigured.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 3 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial