Alex Hay

Work 2008 - 2014

5 June - 25 July 2014

New York



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exhibition: Alex Hay: Work 2008-2014
dates: 5 June – 25 July 2014

Peter Freeman, Inc, New York, is pleased to present “Alex Hay: Work 2008-2014.” This is the gallery's fourth exhibition with the artist, and includes the first self-portraits Hay has ever exhibited.

In several of his newest paintings, Hay continues his engagement with humble aspects of daily life, rendering, for instance, scraps of wood or linoleum tiles – often detritus of home construction projects – in painstaking detail and on a monumental scale. As has long been his practice, in conjunction with the paintings, Hay makes a finely detailed scale drawing of the surface and material make-up – the topography – of his subjects. This activity of mapping marks his entire body of work, but is put to an entirely new use in his “Face Prints” (2013-2014) – based on impressions of the artist’s own face.

To make each of these unique triptychs, Hay first coats his face with charcoal in a gum arabic solution and presses paper to it, recording the contours of his features. He then traces that impression onto another sheet, from which he makes a stencil. Through that stencil, he then draws out the image once again, by rubbing graphite pencil onto just the tops of the raised grains of watercolor paper so that the final iteration has a pebbly three-dimensionality. This process of multiple impressions newly articulates the notions of transfer—in both its physical and conceptual properties—that have from the start made his work so rich and complex, always at once forthright and transfixing.

Alex Hay was born in 1930 in Valrico, Florida. He lives and works in Bisbee, Arizona. As Hay’s paintings were gaining recognition in the 1960s, exhibited at New York’s Leo Castelli Gallery and Kornblee Gallery and included in the first survey of Pop Art at London’s Hayward Gallery in 1968, he was also separately participating in collaborative performances with such frequent cohorts as Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, and Merce Cunningham. These were primarily at the Judson Dance Theatre, the preeminent American experimental performance space at the time. In 1966, a performance by Hay was one of the famous "9 Evenings"; other evenings were dedicated to performances by Rauschenberg, Cage, Yvonne Rainer, and five other artists. In the early 70s he moved to Arizona and ceased exhibiting until a 2002 solo exhibition of his work from the 60s at Peter Freeman; that same year he began to paint again. Recent group exhibitions have included the “Whitney Biennial” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2004), “The Painted World” at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2005), “Danser sa vie” at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011), and “Lifelike” at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2012, then travelled through 2014). His work is in a number of museum collections, including: The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Art Institute of Chicago; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and Museu Serralves, Porto.

A reception for the artist will be held Thursday 5 June from 6 to 8 pm.

Parallel to Alex Hay's exhibition, Peter Freeman, Inc. is pleased to present “Medardo Rosso: Bambino ebreo.”
For reproduction requests, interviews with the artist and general inquiries, please contact the gallery at 212-966-5154 or info@peterfreemaninc.com.