NEW YORK, NY : Through December 22, ABXY will exhibit a collection of paintings by the Paris-based, Texan-born, world renowned artist: EALY MAYS. Hailed as one of the most outstanding African-American artists of his generation, Mays is a painter’s painter for whom art is to be accessible to all. He has exhibited in such prestigious institutions as The Guggenheim Museum, (New York), the Louvre (Paris), Hammonds House (Atlanta), Galeria Clava (Mexico), and many more. His work is included in such prestigious collections as The Joyner Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art, the collection of Larry and Brenda Thompson, as well as those of Reggie Van Lee, and George N'namdi. ABXY is honored for the opportunity to exhibit a collection from this legendary outsider artist in New York for the first time in nearly a decade.
ABOUT EALY MAYS:
Born in 1959 in Wichita Falls, Texas, USA he was raised in Dayton, Ohio where he attended Fairview High School then returned to Marshall, Texas, where he earned a BSc. in Chemistry and Biology at Willey College. Mays never stopped painting and in the early 1980s he took a trip to the Caribbean Islands, which made a great impact on his later work.
At the age of 27 he was accepted to Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine in Mexico. He chose Mexico because he felt it provided the freedom to indulge his passion for art while in Medical School. It didn’t take him long to discover the local art scene where he met several celebrated artists such as RUFINO TAMAYO who would later become a mentor.
On his return to the United States, Mays was accepted for a residency at the prestigious SKOWHEGAN SCHOOL of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Colleagues in residence included fellow artist ANISH KAPOOR, video artist GARY HILL, photo-artist NAN GOLDIN, and JACOB LAWRENCE, the most widely acclaimed African-American artist of the twentieth century. LAWRENCE became both friend and mentor, describing MAYS in a letter of reference to the Studio Museum in Harlem, as a ‘pure painter’, emphasizing his natural talent and his audacity in never following the crowd.
In search of “an intellectual environment to think, to breathe, and to paint,” in the late 1990s, Mays moved to Paris, where he was quickly invited as a permanent recurring resident at Cité Internationale des Arts.
As continued exhibiting in the USA and in Europe, international recognition of Mays’s work reached new heights. In both 2005 and in 2007, the artist’s series The Migration of the Superheroes was showcased at the Carrousel du Louvre, making Mays the second African-American artist (their first was Henry Ossawa Tanner in 1897) to have an exhibit in the modern gallery of the great museum.
Mays counts Jacob Lawrence, Jackson Pollock, Maxfield Parrish, Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, Rufino Tamayo, Herbert Gentry, Edward Clark (artist), and Franz Kline, as mentors.
Ealy Mays sees himself as a social critic. His work embodies ethnicity, politics, history, religion, and satire. Mays’s social commentary and observations, take the viewer on an adventure around the world.
Although the creator of thousands of paintings, Mays is most proud of his single, best creation: his daughter.