Gregory Hayes

Gregory Hayes


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 F City.


Nancy Margolis Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Gregory Hayes’s third solo exhibition titled Dawn of a new day. The exhibition will begin on April 6th, and continue through May 13th, 2017. The artist reception is Thursday, April 6th, 6pm to 8pm and is open to the public.

Hayes first studied art at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design in Colorado. There a serendipitous encounter led him to the process that engages him today in the making of his paintings. In 2005 his teacher Clark Richert handed him a small drip bottle and said, “see what you can do with this.” Taking on the challenge, Hayes filled it with paint and began experimenting. On one occasion the bottle was left unwashed, and he later decided to use it anyway to execute a painting. This led to the unforeseen discovery that fresh paint and remnants left in the bottle, when mixed together and dripped out through the tiny opening, created surprising swirls and twists of color in each drip. From this revelation Hayes saw countless possibilities and began experimenting, leading him to create many diverse series of paintings over the past ten years. Each series relies on the commonality of process, but their overall unique character is drawn from the artist’s inner sensibilities accompanied by an exceptional gift for color.

In Hayes’s third solo exhibition his Amalgamation series will be shown by Nancy Margolis Gallery for the first time as a group. These paintings are based on the concept of dripping paint as well as Hayes’s refined intuitive sense of color. His previous series, Color Array, which made up his first two solo exhibitions at Nancy Margolis Gallery, required a structured grid of quarter inch squares penciled onto the canvas, where each drip would be meticulously placed inside the grid to form a larger pattern of concentric squares. The Amalgamation series however, foregoes the grid, allowing a freer reign for the pigment to be dripped directly onto the canvas. The pervading tones in the paintings may appear prominently one color, but on close inspection there are many convex drips of unforeseen colors built up in each painting creating a quasi kaleidoscope effect in a field of radiant color.

Hayes will be exhibiting six new large-scale paintings, 60″ x 70″, that explore the diversity of his technique and the dynamics of his use of color.



Amalgamation    –    “The paintings in my Amalgamation series are based on the concept of brushless painting, in which the paint is loaded into a dropper several colors at a time and then released onto the surface of the canvas. As the paint flows through the dropper, colors mix and form swirling convex drips that create a field of resonating color and complex spatial structures. My goal is to expose the paint’s natural ability to form shapes and patterns on its own after it is applied to the surface of the canvas.

The painting process creates texture on the surface of the canvas due to the convex shape of the paint drips and the overlapping of the drips that accrue. The colors create a type of push and pull between the foreground and background creating space—the texture creates real space, while the color interactions create the illusion of depth. For instance, warm colors generally tend to visually appear closer, while cooler colors visually appear further; in painting this in known as atmospheric perspective. But in these paintings, that fact depends on the texture: if warm colors are texturally in the background or cool colors are texturally in the foreground, then this illusion is reversed. Therefore, the interplay between the texture and the colors adds a quasi kaleidoscope effect.”      – Gregory Hayes

Ribbon     –      “For this new series of paintings I wanted to push past the typical end point of my process and make that the new beginning point of my process. So I decided to try pouring paint onto a flat smooth surface in individual 1/4″ strips with approximately equal lengths, using a continuous flow of different color paint to create a swirling gradient from one line of paint to the next. Then let it dry. After that I could peel them off the smooth surface and then begin the painting from that point. Starting from what I normally considered the end of a work–after the paint dries.

Now I could arrange the ribbons of paint onto a canvas in a new manor. So I began placing them in the order they were made but now partly overlapping, like sentimental layers of earth building up over time. Trying to place them as even and straight as possible, but also allowing my inconsistencies and the variations in the dried paint ribbons to guide the processes as well. The overlapping then created a texture, and the variation in the line and color created an optical affect, both of which I welcomed. The end result was a landscape of softly shifting colors. Overall, these paintings reveal to me that even a slight variation in the order of a process can create new pictorial complexity.”          – Gregory Hayes

Color Array    –    “In my Color Array series, I use a predetermined pattern based on the Archimedean spiral combined with the unpredictability of the interaction of my process and the materials used to produce systemic images that are fueled by accidental nuances within confined spaces. I lay down drips of paint on pre-drawn ¼ inch grids. This involves applying paint to the surface of the canvas and allowing it to form natural convex circles. The application process causes there to be multiple colors within each individual drip, and the proportions of the colors change gradually as the process continues. Visually, the drips coalesce to reveal a larger pattern. I try to control the amount of paint in each region equally, but ultimately the paint has a life of its own due to its physical properties and to gravity. I welcome these chance interventions.”         – Gregory Hayes