April 3 – May 17, 2014
Nancy Margolis Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Gregory Hayes’s first solo New York exhibition, Shooting Star, on April 3, 2014, and on view through May 17, 2014. The opening reception will take place Thursday, April 3, from 6–8 pm.
In his large-scale acrylic-on-canvas Color Array paintings, New York City artist Hayes explores the possibilities of paint through minimalist, pattern-based compositions. The works in Shooting Star explore mark making and the fluidity—physically and theoretically—of paint as a medium. The framework and pattern for each work starts with a grid of ¼” squares. Employing a plastic squeeze bottle filled with multiple colors of acrylic paint, tiny drops are meticulously dripped onto the surface into the set pattern of concentric squares. The proportion of colors within each drip changes organically and gradually over time, yielding unexpected variation as the layers of paint in the bottle gently mix. Together, viewed at a distance, each drop of paint merges into a larger unity that separates and changes when close up. The artist’s hand is revealed in the slightly wavering graphite lines of the grid and the somewhat off-centered placement of the varying dots of color. Herein lies the central push-and-pull of Hayes’s work. In spite of the obsessive exactness of the underlying grid, and the execution of layering dots of color, each mark is a unique loose swirl of paint; at the same time, each contributes to the complexity of the overall design.
In this way, Shooting Star is more an investigation into the vocabulary of painting than homage to any particular art genre. For instance, as the name of the Color Array series suggests, Hayes is much concerned with color, and especially with color mixing. In each work, the drips play a part in a large-scale color-based pattern; yet, on a small- scale, each drip contains its own kaleidoscopic pattern of color. Indeed Hayes’s works are decidedy self-aware: a drop of paint at once references the history mark making, and the immediacy, spontaneity, and complexity of paint as a medium. The exhibition’s overall coolness of mood is owed more to the depth of artistic intrigue than to the works’ minimalist aesthetic. In spite of Hayes’s simple artistic vocabularly-and also because of it—the viewer is made acutely aware of the forces at play here and in painting at large—between the calculated and the expressive, the planned and the accidental, the rigidity of confinement and the fluid, tactile nature of paint.
GREGORY HAYES is based in Brooklyn, New York. Hayes began studying art with original Drop City artist Clark Richert at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, where he received his BFA in Painting and was named Most Distinguished Artist. He received his MFA in Painting from the City University of New York, Brooklyn College where he studied with Vito Acconci. Hayes has exhibited in renowned institutions throughout the United States including Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Rocky Mountain College, SCOPE Basel, Art Wynwood, SCOPE Miami, and with the College Art Association (CAA) New York. He has also been featured in numerous publications, including the Brooklyn Downtown Star, the Denver Post, the Huffington Post and Art Fag City. This is his first exhibition with Nancy Margolis Gallery.