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 Maxine Hayt  (1937 - )

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: drawing, portrait painting and found object sculpture

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Maxine Hayt
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
This following biography was researched, compiled, and written by Geoffrey K. Fleming, Director, Southold Historical Society, Southold, NY.

MAXINE HAYT (b. January 3, 1937)

Painter and sculptor. Did her undergraduate work at Syracuse and Columbia Universities, (1956-1959). Continued her graduate work at Columbia University (1959-60 and 1977-79).

Her early works were highly detailed, large format pencil drawings of New York City "bums" and the elderly, many of whom were originally photographed by her husband.  This work was difficult and time consuming, and her own fellow Delphians noted she "must have the patience of a saint."  They also described one of these works as featured in a 1975 exhibition:  "Her larger than life-size portrait of a smiling, old man is so exquisitely detailed that it looks like a photograph. It is amazing how acute the details are and how very real this man is and-or appears to be."  

After getting married, Hayt's art career stalled.  According to her daughter it was the founder of the New Museum, Marcia Tucker (1940-2006), who in 1977 got her mother back into her art.  She wrote: "She [my mother] had once been a promising painter, but she gave up pursuing a career as an artist after marrying my father, bearing three children and settling in Great Neck, the wealthy Long Island suburb. . .  . . . Marcia enjoined my mother to take herself seriously as an artist."

By the late 1970s/early 1980s, she began sculpting regularly using old toys, dolls and other found materials.  Her daughter recalled that after Marcia Tucker encouraged her:  "She began to assemble a battle scene out of dismembered toy action figures that she reconfigured, lacquered in bright colors and adorned with feathers, beads and rhinestones."  Later, when "The New York Times printed a photograph of my mother's assemblage, the event represented the turning point in her life. She was now a "real" artist who deserved to live among other "real" artists. SoHo summoned."

Hayt was the recipient of a Provincetown Workshop scholarship in 1959 and an individual artists grant from Artists Space in 1988.  She also worked at Yaddo, receiving a residency there in both 1995 and 1997.  According to their website: "Yaddo is an artists' community located on a 400-acre estate in Saratoga Springs, New York. Its mission is to nurture the creative process by providing an opportunity for artists to work without interruption in a supportive environment."  

Known Exhibitions:  Central Hall Gallery, New York, NY, 1975; Alumni House Gallery, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY, 1975, 1977; Central Hall Gallery, Port Washington, NY, 1975; 55 Mercer Street Gallery, New York, NY, 1976; York College, York, PA, 1977; Nassau County Community College, Garden City, NY, 1977; New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY, 1978, 1988, 1994, 1996-97, 1999; Oscarson & Siegeltuck, New York, NY, 1987; White Columns Gallery, New York, NY, 1990; Alternative Museum, New York, NY, 1993; Clark and Company Gallery, Washington, DC, 1994; Domestic Setting, Los Angeles, CA, 1994; Dru Arstark Fine Arts Gallery, New York, NY, 1995-96; Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Staten Island, NY, 1995; Caren Golden Gallery, New York, NY, 1995; The Museums at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY, 1996; Griffin Linton, Venice Beach, CA, 1996-97; Griffin Contemporary Exhibitions, Venice, CA, 1997; Z Gallery Central Fine Arts, New York City, NY, 1997; Angels Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro, CA, 1997; MSU Art Gallery, Montclair, NJ, 1997; Galerie Farideh Cadot Exhibition, Paris, France, 1997-98; Galerie Pierre Brulle, Paris, France 1998; Barbara Greene Fine Art, New York, NY, 2000; Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA, 2001; Art Paris at the Carrousel du Louvre (Farideh Cadot), Paris, France, 2003.

By May of 2010 she was no longer working as "Severe arthritis has stolen her ability to draw and sculpt."  Her works currently reside in the following public collections:  Columbia University, New York, NY.  A number also reside in private hands.  Her daughter is the reporter and author Elizabeth Hayt (b. 1961).

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