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Hugh Hayden Artist Statement

Mar 8, 2022 | Art

Hugh Hayden Artist Statement

MSPC HHayden Portrait 072621 274 Image (2)
Madison Square Park, Hugh Hayden, Brier Patch
Artist Hugh Hayden standing among the Brier Patch exhibition, which features desks bursting with...

Brier Patch
January 18 – May 1, 2022
Madison Square Park, New York

Raised In Texas and trained as an architect, my work arises from a deep connection to nature and its organic materials. Little did I know that my childhood passion for gardening and creating landscapes around koi ponds in my adolescence would sow the seeds to my becoming an artist embracing natural materials.

I utilize salvaged wood as my primary medium, frequently loaded with multi-layered histories in their origin—including objects as varied as Christmas trees, discarded furniture, souvenir African figures, or rare Indigenous timbers, like Texas Ebony, which I consider my identity in wood form. From these disparate elements, I carve, saw, and sand the wood, creating new composite forms that also reflect their complex cultural backgrounds. I intentionally combine traditional orthogonal woodworking techniques with freehand carving to create sculptural forms that have no straight lines—that are subsequently sinuous and anthropomorphic. Crafting metaphors for human existence and past experience through wood and other materials, my work questions social dynamics and asks the viewer to examine their place within the ever-shifting ecosystem that is the American Dream, an environment that is both seductive and threatening.



Hugh Hayden’s Brier Patch is on view through May 1, 2022.

Major support for the exhibition is generously provided by the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation and Lisson Gallery.

Substantial support is provided by Candy and Michael Barasch, Lambent Foundation, and the William Talbott Hillman Foundation. Additional support is provided by Anonymous, Ingrid Cincala Gilbert, David M. Glanstein, Esq., Stephanie Joyce and Jim Vos, and Sarah Stein-Sapir and Gabriel Lopez.

Major support for the art program is provided by Sasha C. Bass, Bunny and Charles Burson, Toby Devan Lewis, Ronald A. Pizzuti, Thornton Tomasetti, Tiffany & Co., Anonymous, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Substantial support is provided by Charina Endowment Fund, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Sol LeWitt Fund for Artist Work, Madison Square Park Conservancy Art Council, Audrey and Danny Meyer, The Rudin Family, and Von Rydingsvard-Greengard Foundation. Additional support is provided by 400 Park Avenue South, Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, Jane Richards, Fern and Lenard Tessler, Ms. Barbara van Beuren and Mr. Stephen L. Glascock, and Anonymous.

Madison Square Park Conservancy is a public/private partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

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