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 David Vincent Hayes  (1931 - 2013)

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Lived/Active: Connecticut/Indiana / France      Known for: monumental welded steel abstract sculpture, assemblage, animal forms

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David Vincent Hayes
An example of work by David Vincent Hayes
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
David Hayes was born in Hartford, Connecticut and received an A.B. degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1953 and a M.F.A. degree from Indiana University in 1955 where he studied with David Smith. He has received a post-doctoral Fulbright award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a grant from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He has been appointed Visiting Artist at the Carpenter Art Center, Harvard University, and has represented the United States at the Forma Viva sculpture symposium in Portoroz, Jugoslavia. He has served three years on the National Screening Committee for the Fulbright-Hays awards in sculpture and was the subject of documentary films in 1991 and 1998 on Connecticut Public Television. He has had about 100 one-man shows and is included in the collections of over 60 major museums. He resides in Coventry, Connecticut.

Beginning November 2004, forty large steel sculptures by Hayes will be placed in St. Lucie County, Florida in a variety of public spaces with the overall exhibition name of "Exhibit Without Walls". According to the November 8, 2004 Press Release from David Hayes, son of the artist, "This will be one of the largest and most comprehensive exhibits of Hayes' work anywhere in the world. . . . "the show places sculpture where residents live, work and play and allows people to interact with the work on their own terms." The Hayes exhibition is part of Lucie County's Art in Public Places Program.

1931 Born in Hartford, Connecticut. Lives in Coventry, Connecticut.
1949 - 1953 University of Notre Dame; Notre Dame, Indiana, A.B.
1953 - 1955 Indiana University; Bloomington, Indiana. M.F.A.
Studied with Robert Laurent, Alton Pickens, and David Smith.
1955 - 1957 United States Navy
1958 Silvermine Guild; New Cannan, Connecticut - Sculpture Award
New Haven Festival of Arts; New Haven, Connecticut - Best in Show
1959 Boston Arts Festival; Boston, Massachusetts - Drawing Award
1960 New Haven Festival of Arts; New Haven, Connecticut - Best in Show for Sculpture
1961 Chicago Arts Institute; Chicago, Illinois - Logan Prize for Sculpture
Post Doctoral Fulbright for study in Paris. Guggenheim Fellowship awarded and arranged to follow Fulbright.
1963 Represented United States at "Forma Viva" Sculpture Symposium, Portoroz, Yugoslavia
1965 National Institute of Arts and Letters Award, New York
1968 Return to live in the United States
1970 Monumental Ceramic Wall Commission, Elmira College; Elmira, New York
1972 Appointed visiting artist, Harvard University; Cambridge, Massachusetts
1973 Juror, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute; Utica, New York - Annual Exhibition
Illustrated Varmint Q by Charles Boer; Chicago: Swallow Press
Juror, American Academy in Rome - Sculpture
1976 Sculpture for playground; Killingly, Connecticut
1977 Monumental Sculpture Commission, Massasoit Community College; Brockton, Massachusetts
1978 David Hayes: Sculptor; Channel 57 television documentary
Sculpture Commission, Moriarty Brothers, Inc.; Manchester, Connecticut
1979 Illustrated French Cooking for People Who Can't by Julia Hayes; New York; Atheneum Publishers
Sculpture Commission, Lydall Corporate Headquarters; Manchester, Connecticut
1980 Juror, Scholastic Art Awards, Connecticut, for Sculpture
Juror, National Screening Committee, Institute of International Education, for Sculpture
1981 Monumental Sculpture Commission, Hartwood Acres; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1982 Juror, National Screening Committee, Institute of International Education, for Sculpture
Relief Sculpture Commission, Albertus Magnus College; New Haven, Connecticut
1983 Relief Sculpture Commission, Wilbraham & Monson Academy; Wilbraham, Massachusetts
Appointed Trustee, Hartford Art School, University of Hartford; hartford, Connecticut
1985 The Brooks File: David Hayes' Sculpture Fields, Channel 3 WFSB; Hartford, Connecticut
1987 Monumental Sculpture Commission, Hartford Public Library; Hartford, Connecticut
Juror, National Screening Committee, Institute of International Education, for Sculpture
1988 Monumental Sculpture Commission, Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame; Notre Dame, Indiana
1990 Monumental Sculpture Commission, School of Business, Western Michigan University; Kalamazoo, Michigan
Welded Steel Sculpture with David Hayes, documentary film completed by Richard Byrnes
1991 Monumental Sculpture Commission, Anderson Gallery, Buffalo, New York
PBS Broadcast of The Sculpture of David Hayes, documentary film by Richard Byrnes
1992 Elected Regent, University of Hartford; Hartford, Connecticut
1993 Appointed Board Member, New York Sculpture Guild

Selected list of 20 solo shows:

Mobile Museum of Art; Mobile, Alabama
James A. Michener Art Museum; Doylestown, Pennsylvania
City of Stamford, Connecticut and Stamford Town Center
Boca Raton Museum of Art; Boca Raton, Florida
The Appleton Museum; Ocala, Florida
Snite Museum of Art; University of Notre Dame
Saratoga Performing Arts Center; Saratoga Springs, New York
Nassau County Museum; Sands Point, New York
Museum of Fine Arts and City of Springeld; Springeld, Massachusetts
George Washington University; Washington, D. C.
DeCordova Museum; Lincoln, Massachusetts
Everson Museum of Art; Syracuse, New York
Copley Square and Dartmouth Street Mall; Boston, Massachusetts.
Harvard University, Hunt Hall; Cambridge, Massachusetts
New Britain Museum of American Art; New Britain, Connecticut
Willard Gallery; New York
Lyman Allen Museum; New London, Connecticut
David Anderson Gallery; Paris
University of Notre Dame and Indiana University; Notre Dame and
Bloomington, Indiana
Museum of Modern Art; New York
Indiana University; Bloomington, Indiana

Website of the artist

Biography from Kendall Fine Art:
Over the course of six decades, American modern master David Hayes produced a body of sculptural work that concerned itself with geometrically abstracting organic forms. His monumental outdoor sculptures contemplate the relationship between a work of art and the environment it occupies, and demonstrate the influence of teacher David Smith and friend Alexander Calder.

Born in 1931, much of Hayes' early life was spent tending his family's farm in Connecticut, but his talent for aesthetics convinced his fifth grade teacher to push him towards a life of art. At 18, Hayes opted to attend college in order to expand his understanding of the creative process. He enrolled at Notre Dame, and upon graduation immediately pursued his masters in fine art from Indiana University. Indiana University had recently elected one of modernism's sculptural leaders, David Smith, as a visiting artist. A powerful figure in the sculpture movement of the 50s and 60s, Smith was well known for his unique utilization of industrial materials to construct large scale objects in place of the more historically oriented sculptural processes of casting and carving. This serendipitous appointment proved to be a defining event for Hayes in his artistic development.
Hayes studied attentively under Smith, whose iconic colored steel geometries held an evident influence over Hayes' later body of work. Like Smith, he mastered an appreciation for the permanence of steel. Following his formal studies, Hayes would continue to work with Smith, now his friend, in Bolton Landing, New York.

While living in Indiana, both Smith and Hayes learned about forging from a local blacksmith. Smith began his Forging Series in 1955, while continuing to weld his larger forms and revered Tanktotems. Hayes also adopted the forge, leading to the production of his animal forms series, small- to mid-scale sculptures that harbored allusions to animal figures. A number of these works were exhibited in contemporaneous shows at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum’s inaugural exhibition in 1959.

Hayes received his MFA in June 1955, and spent the next two years in the Navy. Following his term in the military, Hayes returned to Coventry, Connecticut to return to his forge and welding torch. Over the next few years, Hayes received numerous awards for his work, including the 1961 Logan Prize for Sculpture from the Art Institute of Chicago and an award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. In 1961 Hayes was awarded both a Fulbright Scholarship for study in Paris and a Guggenheim Fellowship, which conferred an experience that greatly impacted the direction of his future body of work.

Hayes packed his bags and left for Paris in 1961 with his wife, Julia, and their two children. While in Paris, Hayes regularly visited Alexander Calder, one of the most famous figures generated by the American  sculptural scene of the mid-20th century, who was also living in central France during this time. Calder, similar to Hayes and Smith, also had begun to produce monumental sculptures out of industrial material in the mid-1950s. It would be remiss to say that Calder's playful shapes and colors affected no passing influence on Hayes' work. In fact, Hayes' combination of flattened shapes feel more in line with Calder's appreciation of the steel form than Smith's more dimensionally oriented geometric towers. More correctly, Hayes' work represents a merger between his two mentors' different interpretations of the physicality of industrial sculpture while still maintaining its own stylistic flair.
In addition to Calder, Hayes also met with Henry Moore in England and Alberto Giacometti in Paris, all the while continuing to forge his own steel body of work, which lead to an aggressive show schedule in Paris and the US.

On returning to the US a decade later, Hayes moved from forged steel to cut steel plate as it permitted him to construct larger objects, a move which resulted in his large outdoor painted sculpture series. While in the United States, Hayes frequently interacted with Sol Lewitt, Lester Johnson, Richard Hunt, George Rickey, and Richard Stankiewicz.

Hayes' work is now in the permanent collections of over 100 institutional collections across America. Since his recent passing, David Hayes work has recaptured the attention of museums and collectors alike. In 2014 alone, over ten solo museum exhibitions will go on display across America.

Written with the assistance of David Hayes, son of the artist.

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