Curated by Mike Kelley
This will be my third show in New York City. It has been 16 years since the last. Special thanks to Mike Kelley. Since 1975 my studio practice has focused on the monochrome. Most all the work is done with a brush; painters make marks. The range of marking has been extreme, from the flatness of the Automatic Paintings of the 70's, to the heavy impasto of my present efforts. I have combined monochrome panels to make larger, more complicated paintings; Automatic Paintings; Poker Paintings; Athenians; Icon Paintings; Pure/Odd; The Moroccan Paintings; and Variations on the Annunciations. In Japan I learned, "there are no rules". I totally accept this idea. There are even "failed" monochromes, as in the Chromachords. The idea was four pure colors, worked together on the surface of the painting to become a fifth, unknown color. They were just 14" x 10.5", and because of their size, they were allowed great latitude. I was totally seduced by the beauty of the paint and none of the one hundred I did, between 1998 and 2001, ever achieved its desired intention. I plan to revisit this idea. This body of work ranges from pure colors to greys so complicated and perverse that I assume the color has never existed before. In a strange way these paintings parallel our reality; excess to the point of collapse. It's how I live and how I paint.
by Mike Kelley
I met Jimmy Hayward in the mid to late Seventies soon after I moved to Los Angeles. If I remember correctly, the first paintings I saw by him were a series of multi-panel monochromes in red and black. I was struck by the beauty of their slick surfaces, and even more interested in Hayward's description of himself as an Automatic painter. His works had none of the qualities that I had before associated with Automatic painting. The paintings were built up from thin layers of pigment so that there was no trace of brush stroke. Jimmy would probably disapprove of my reading, but this somehow struck me as a Duchampian gesture: that the labor and time spent on paint application was negated by the fact that there was no visible trace of it. Now, I have a somewhat different take on this; my previous read was a by-product of my own clichéd notions about gestural Automatism: his paintings' surfaces were the result of this laborious process - whether I recognize this, or not, is not the issue. The final effect is the issue. After this series of paintings, Jimmy went on to produce monochromes with heavy impasto surfaces that range in color from subtle grays, to fleshy tones, to bright acidic hues.
In my estimation Hayward is one of the few truly important West Coast painters, yet he is surprisingly little known outside of the area. Perhaps this is because the West Coast has not been traditionally associated with painting and there are really no recognizable West Coast "schools" of painting. He has nothing in common with the few painters of note who came before him: Richard Diebenkorn, Sam Francis, Ed Moses, Ed Ruscha. And nothing in common with those who came after him: Lari Pittman, Laura Owens. James Hayward has always followed his own subtle and unique path.
Jimmy is also a really nice guy and a friend of mine. Many moons ago he arranged for my first art-related job: a short teaching stint in Minneapolis. That was a very important step for me. I'm glad I have this opportunity to present Jimmy's work in New York.
Painter James Hayward was born in San Francisco, California in 1943. He completed his M.F.A. at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington in 1972. In 1996, Hayward received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Recent group shows include: "100 Artists See God" co-curated by Meg Cranston and John Baldessari that is currently on tour; "Pink" at Patricia Faure Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; "Triple Play: Richard Allen Morris, James Hayward, Ed Moses" at R.B. Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla, CA and "Parallel Visions: James Hayward & Doris Cypus" at Mandarin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. The exhibition at CUE represents the artist's first solo exhibition in New York City in 16 years. Hayward lives and works in Moorpark, California.
The work of artist Mike Kelley (b. 1954) embraces performance, installation, drawing, painting, video, and sculpture. Drawing distinctively on high art and vernacular traditions, including historical research, popular culture, and psychology, Kelley came to prominence in the 1980's with a series of sculptures composed of craft materials. His recent work offers dialogues with architecture and with repressed memory syndrome, and a sustained inquiry into his own aesthetic and social history.
Mike Kelley's work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions including, most recently, "The Uncanny", a curatorial project presented by Kelley at the Tate Liverpool, UK and at the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien in Vienna, Austria in 2004; a 1993 retrospective of his work at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City; "Documenta X" (1997), in Kassel, Germany and five appearances at the Whitney Biennial. He has also published two volumes of critical writings, Foul Perfection: Essays and Criticism, (2002) and Minor Histories: Statements, Conversations, Proposals, (2004). He lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.