David Hayes, Sculptor

In an art world in which any kind of joyous representation is frowned upon, there are still a few artists working in the tradition of Miro, Matisse, David Smith and Alexander Calder, who openly express their love of nature's vitality, however abstractly it represents beauty.

Such an artist is David Hayes, the Connecticut artist who constructs welded steel sculptures painted in brilliant as well as somber colors, the contours of which suggest nature in many forms and moods. When the sculptures are placed in an open field, as Hayes does on his proprety in Connecticut, they immediately seem to bond with their surroundings and to be growing naturally there.

But there are somber works as well, painted all over in a dull black that exudes a sense of death and despair. Their forms are quieted, with drooping planes suggesting a dying plant or tree. Placed in an open field, a group of them bring to mind Rodin's "Burghers of Calais" or Abakanowicz's wartime tragic figures. The range of mood and expression within a fairly limited and consistant form, is stunning in Hayes' work, suggesting the changing seasons of the year in which winter is cold and dead, and summer a joyous release into life and fertility. It is extraordinary that the artist can, with consistently limited means, express such a broad range of thought and feeling.

David Hayes' work is in many collections, both private and public. He has exhibited in museums both here and abroad and has won many awards. Like the artist himself, Hayes' work is quiet, thoughtful, controlled, while embracing a broad range of deep emotion.

Leslie Judd Ahlander

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