University of New Haven
May 1 June 5, 1997
In 1962 James Johnson Sweeney wrote the following about David Hayes for an exhibition the 1953 graduate of Notre Dame and 1955 recipient of an MFA from Indiana University was about to have at the two institutions:
A work by Hayes is never a Large Beast, a Woman with Sheep, nor a bare assemblage of sheet metal, but something apart from both, brought to life by the artist's sensibility to the relationship between an idea and forms his materials propose to him.
A quarter of a century later Hayes created for Notre Dame a piece that was to become a focal point on campus and the site of spirited inquiry sheets of black painted steel rising skyward 29 feet, like a great oak in full foliage. Griffon stands guard, in celebration, in front of the University's most important arts facility the Snite Museum of Art.
For over 40 years Hayes has successfully accepted the challenges of occupying public spaces with a diversity of organic shapes that never threaten nature, rather they work with it. He impressively continues to grow and succeed in his chosen field.
Dean A. Porter
The Snite Museum of Art
University of Notre Dame