Passages: Andrew Hayes’ puts books and steel together in Mill Valley exhibition.
Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, presents Passages, an exhibition of steel and paper sculptures by nationally known artist, Andrew Hayes. The exhibition runs from September 1 to October 4, 2015. A reception for the artist will take place on Saturday, September 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. A full color catalog of the exhibition is available through the gallery.
Imagine sculptures made of steel combined with perfectly aligned sections of book pages. That would be the work of Andrew Hayes. His steel forms with their meticulous attention to detail could be seen as maquettes for formalist monumental works - Tony Smith or Fletcher Benton come to mind, sculptors who took pride both in the formal “rightness” of the work and in the perfection of their skills. You will not see a weld or an unfinished edge in Hayes’ sculpture and the finishes are finely milled or feathered and beautifully polished. These perfected forms are orchestrated to hold various thicknesses of book pages taken from the text block of dictionaries, bibles, encyclopedias or whatever books most serve his purpose. The critical tension between the ephemeral nature of paper and the durability of steel combines with the fascination of content as material in these endlessly engaging works of art.
Andrew Hayes grew up in Tucson, Arizona and studied sculpture at Northern Arizona University. The desert landscape inspired much of his early sculptural work and allowed him to cultivate his style in fabricated steel. After leaving school, Andrew worked in the industrial welding trade, balancing work with creative practice. He was encouraged to apply to the Core Fellowship at Penland School of Crafts in Ashville, North Carolina. During his time as a Core Fellow, Andrew was able to explore a variety of materials and techniques. Surprisingly, the book became a big part of this exploration after taking a workshop with New York artist Doug Beube where he learned to cut sections of a book with a guillotine. In this work he faces the challenge of marrying the rigid qualities of metal with the delicacy of the book pages. Seager Gray discovered Hayes during his 2012 exhibition at the Portland Museum of Contemporary Craft. Since that time, his work has been embraced by collectors and he has been included in exhibitions and collections at Yale University, Hartford University, the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey and the Mesa Contemporary Art Museum in Mesa, Arizona to name a few. His work is characterized by a combination of extreme mastery of materials and an innate understanding of form.