David Hayes Screen Sculptures

Florida Gulf Coast Art Center
Belleair, Florida
September 1996 ­ September 1997

Orlando City Hall, Art in Public Places Program
City Hall Plaza; Orlando, Florida
October 1997 ­ February 1998

The Appleton Museum
Ocala, Florida
February 1998 ­ May 1998


David Hayes is one of America's premier sculptors. The Florida Gulf Coast Art Center is proud to have brought this exciting screen sculpture exhibition to our state to initiate the Florida tour.

Educated at the University of Notre Dame, Hayes had the fortuitous opportunity to work with American master David Smith while completing his M.F.A. at Indiana University. While his oeuvre is influenced and informed by his experience, he has clearly established his place in American sculpture, primarily through innovative welded steel constructions. As a 1961 Fulbright Scholar, Hayes had the opportunity to study in Paris, and subsequently, grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Society of Arts and Letters afforded him the further opportunity to live and work in Europe, exploring a variety of mediums. However, his first and lasting love is manipulating and fabricating steel with the welder's torch. His work has been shown in more than seventy exhibitions here and abroad, and is held in major museum and private collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the National Museum of American Art, among others.

Begun in the mid-seventies, the screen series has maintained David Hayes' interest for two decades. While he has created numerous other pieces, he has maintained his fascination with this evolving body of work. Through careful dissection of vertical planes, Hayes has explored a format with endless possibilities, evoking light to become an integral element of the object. Painted flat black, these welded steel screens present an ever changing visual experience for the viewer through the use of negative space, in short ­ the presence of absence.

For several months, eight of Hayes' screen sculptures, in varying sizes, have graced the grounds of Florida Gulf Coast Art Center. I have had ample opportunity to observe the public interacting with the work. The quality of Florida's intense and changing light has form, space, and illumination, drawing the visitor in and out, around and through the installation. Ever changing, ever intriguing, always new.

It is our hope that the citizens of Florida who have occasions to see this installation will have an equally rewarding experience as those adults and children who have visited the Florida Gulf Coast Art Center's sculpture park during the past few months.

Ken Rollins
Executive Director
Florida Gulf Coast Art Center
April 1997