Open: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm

1037 N. Sycamore Avenue, CA 90038, Los Angeles, United States
Open: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm


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Hugh Hayden: Hughman

Lisson Gallery, Los Angeles

Sat 18 Nov 2023 to Sat 13 Jan 2024

1037 N. Sycamore Avenue, CA 90038 Hugh Hayden: Hughman

Tue-Sat 10am-6pm

Artist: Hugh Hayden

For his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, Hugh Hayden presents a new series of work in an ambitious, site-specific installation that explores the prosthetics of power. Known for his examination of the American experience and symbolic investigation of everyday life using organic material, this exhibition engages with recurring themes in the artist’s practice and provides deeper inquiry into topics of revelation, intimacy, desire, and sexuality.


Artworks

Hugh Hayden, Cleanse, 2023

High density polyethylene bristles, cast resin

38.1 × 66 × 35.6 cm

© Hugh Hayden, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Hugh Hayden, The Audition, 2023

Bald cypress, steel hardware and canvas

188 × 149.9 × 154.9 cm

© Hugh Hayden, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Hugh Hayden, Real Tree, 2023

Cherry bark on Zegna Suit

172.7 × 170.2 × 50.8 cm

© Hugh Hayden, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Hugh Hayden, Brainwash, 2023

PVC and nylon bristles

66 × 83.8 × 73.7 cm

© Hugh Hayden, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Hugh Hayden, Black Skin, White Mask, 2023

Milk paint on Basswood

34.9 × 57.8 × 10.8 cm

© Hugh Hayden, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Hugh Hayden, Start 'Em Young, 2023

Chain link fencing and hardware

141 × 142.9 × 81.3 cm

© Hugh Hayden, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Installation Views

Installation image for Hugh Hayden: Hughman, at Lisson Gallery Installation image for Hugh Hayden: Hughman, at Lisson Gallery Installation image for Hugh Hayden: Hughman, at Lisson Gallery Installation image for Hugh Hayden: Hughman, at Lisson Gallery

Upon entering the gallery, the visitor is confronted with a large, open space whose perimeters are lined with only generic metal bathroom stalls. At first glance, it is devoid of artwork, however it is only upon opening each stall that one encounters the contents of the exhibition. A vulnerable act of opening the public restroom door repurposed here as an entry point, an invitation to explore. Hayden probes this notion of privacy and expectations throughout the exhibition, including urinals with atypical positioning that suggest the users participate with an usually intimate arrangement. Other stalls feature toilets with protruding branches, pointed pencil shapes or bristled-covered seats—each echoing a familiar theme in the artist’s work, something which is meant to be familiar or ordinary is now desecrated and impossible to navigate, a layered metaphor for the discomfort and inaccessibility that permeates our present-day society in the pursuit of the ideals of the American Dream.

A section of stalls addresses the pervasion of violence in the police force in the United States, and the ongoing issues around brutality and safety. These works are created in bronze, resin and silicone, the first time the artist is exhibiting work in these mediums. They are shaped into pistol figures, and in one case, a nod to the cowboy Western ideal of the gun holster, reimagined as strap-on pistol—a reference to complicated notions of violence and sexual desire.

Also included is a wooden skeleton work building on the artist’s Eden series of interlocking rib cages. The skeleton, a recurring motif in the work, evokes themes such as race and identity. It serves as a nondescriptive visual symbol, meant to embody any ethnicity, age or gender. The work in this exhibition is composed of two red flocked skeletons in a red flocked closet.

Hayden’s Los Angeles debut coincides with a number of public and institutional exhibitions throughout the U.S. A new public installation, ‘Huff and a Puff’ premieres at deCordova Sculpture Park Museum in Lincoln, MA this month, and his major work, ‘Brier Patch’ continues its nationwide tour to Sundance Plaza in downtown Fort Worth, Texas, after debuting at Madison Square Park Conservancy in New York, NY, and exhibiting at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC, and Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in Washington, DC. In 2024, his much anticipated 10-year survey exhibition Hugh Hayden: American Vernacular will open at Laumeier Sculpture Park in Saint Louis, Missouri in February, and travel to Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum in Massachusetts in the fall. Hayden’s first major catalogue has been published by MIT Press to accompany the exhibition.

Installation images of Hugh Hayden: Hughman at Lisson Gallery, Los Angeles (November 18, 2023 – January 13, 2024). © Hugh Hayden, Courtesy Lisson Gallery.

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