Hugh Hayden

April 24–June 2, 2018 West Gallery
Hangers, 2018, a sculpture of a wooden skeleton in two halves, hung on a garment rack. The upper half of the skeleton is hung to the left and the lower half to the right. Long tree branches stick out from the skeleton.

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018

Alternate view of Hangers. The work is installed freestanding in the foyer of the gallery, and the entrance to the adjacent gallery is visible behind it.

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018

Detail view of Hangers. A wooden sculpture of the upper half of a skeleton, out of which numerous branches and twigs stick out. The bones are debarked, but the branches are not.

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018

Detail view of Hangers. The rib cage of the sculpture is made of smaller sections of wood that have been joined together. The branches appear to be naturally connected to the bones.

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018

Detail view of Hangers. A wooden sculpture of the lower half of a skeleton, suspended from a garment rack with part of a clothes hanger. Some of the bones are held together with dowels.

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018

Detail view of Hangers, centered on one of the knee joints of the sculpture. Dowels hold together the joint and the bones of the lower leg.

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018

Briar Patch, 2018, a set of six carved wooden school chairs with attached desks. Numerous long, twisting branches extend out of them, nearly engulfing the sculpture.

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018

Alternate view of Briar Patch from behind. The sculpture is installed freestanding in front of a wall with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018

Detail view of Briar Patch, focused on one of the desks. Numerous long branches appear to grow out of the sculpture.

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018

Detail view of Briar Patch. The branches on the seat of the chairs and the surface of the attached desks shoot directly upwards. The chairs and desks are debarked, but the branches are not.

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018

Detail view of Briar Patch showing one of the chairs from the side. The connections from the branches to the chairs appear natural and are not manually joined.

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018

Detail view of Briar Patch focused on one of the table tops, which is made from different pieces of wood joined together. Branches shoot upwards from the table’s surface.

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018

Press Release

White Columns is proud to present the first New York solo exhibition by Hugh Hayden, one of the two inaugural exhibitions at the gallery’s new location at 91 Horatio Street: in the heart of New York’s Meat Packing District, where White Columns has been based for the past twenty years.

For his exhibition Hayden will present two recent wooden sculptures.

Hayden’s work considers various methods and different approaches to the idea of ‘camouflage’; exploring the idea of blending into the natural landscape as a metaphor for assimilation into or rejection from greater social ecosystems.

The two sculptures in the exhibition are made from salvaged wood, which the artist has then carved, sanded and assembled into legible approximations of school desks (‘Brier Patch’) and a human skeleton (‘Hangers’). In each case the wooden sculptures retain the original branches of the repurposed trees, suggesting a form of both arrested and burgeoning growth.

‘Brier Patch’, 2018, is an installation comprising six carved school desks that juxtaposes the organic, unpredictability of the natural world (e.g. undergrowth, a thicket etc.) with the ordered and disciplined pursuit of education and greater civilization. The branches extending from the desks are entangled, and in the words of the artist “materialize this integration into the landscape or environment, creating a visible, unifying space, that is at once protective and impenetrable.” ‘Hangers’, 2018, takes the form of a slightly larger-than-life human skeleton, divided into two parts, and suspended from a domestic clothing rack. ‘Hangers’ conflates the infrastructure of a tree with that of the body, simultaneously establishing a tension and fluidity between both.

Hugh Hayden (b. 1983, Dallas, TX) lives and works in New York City. He will receive his MFA from Columbia University this May. He received his Bachelors of Architecture from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, in 2007. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including Gavin Brown’s enterprise; P.P.O.W.; Marinaro Gallery; Socrates Sculpture Park; and the Abrons Art Center (all New York.)

Special thanks for the Fund for Park Ave.

For more information, please contact: info@whitecolumns.org

Hangers, 2018, a sculpture of a wooden skeleton in two halves, hung on a garment rack. The upper half of the skeleton is hung to the left and the lower half to the right. Long tree branches stick out from the skeleton.
Alternate view of Hangers. The work is installed freestanding in the foyer of the gallery, and the entrance to the adjacent gallery is visible behind it.
Detail view of Hangers. A wooden sculpture of the upper half of a skeleton, out of which numerous branches and twigs stick out. The bones are debarked, but the branches are not.
Detail view of Hangers. The rib cage of the sculpture is made of smaller sections of wood that have been joined together. The branches appear to be naturally connected to the bones.
Detail view of Hangers. A wooden sculpture of the lower half of a skeleton, suspended from a garment rack with part of a clothes hanger. Some of the bones are held together with dowels.
Detail view of Hangers, centered on one of the knee joints of the sculpture. Dowels hold together the joint and the bones of the lower leg.
Briar Patch, 2018, a set of six carved wooden school chairs with attached desks. Numerous long, twisting branches extend out of them, nearly engulfing the sculpture.
Alternate view of Briar Patch from behind. The sculpture is installed freestanding in front of a wall with floor-to-ceiling windows.
Detail view of Briar Patch, focused on one of the desks. Numerous long branches appear to grow out of the sculpture.
Detail view of Briar Patch. The branches on the seat of the chairs and the surface of the attached desks shoot directly upwards. The chairs and desks are debarked, but the branches are not.
Detail view of Briar Patch showing one of the chairs from the side. The connections from the branches to the chairs appear natural and are not manually joined.
Detail view of Briar Patch focused on one of the table tops, which is made from different pieces of wood joined together. Branches shoot upwards from the table’s surface.

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018 (Hangers, 2018, a sculpture of a wooden skeleton in two halves, hung on a garment rack. The upper half of the skeleton is hung to the left and the lower half to the right. Long tree branches stick out from the skeleton.)

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018 (Alternate view of Hangers. The work is installed freestanding in the foyer of the gallery, and the entrance to the adjacent gallery is visible behind it.)

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018 (Detail view of Hangers. A wooden sculpture of the upper half of a skeleton, out of which numerous branches and twigs stick out. The bones are debarked, but the branches are not.)

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018 (Detail view of Hangers. The rib cage of the sculpture is made of smaller sections of wood that have been joined together. The branches appear to be naturally connected to the bones.)

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018 (Detail view of Hangers. A wooden sculpture of the lower half of a skeleton, suspended from a garment rack with part of a clothes hanger. Some of the bones are held together with dowels.)

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018 (Detail view of Hangers, centered on one of the knee joints of the sculpture. Dowels hold together the joint and the bones of the lower leg.)

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018 (Briar Patch, 2018, a set of six carved wooden school chairs with attached desks. Numerous long, twisting branches extend out of them, nearly engulfing the sculpture.)

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018 (Alternate view of Briar Patch from behind. The sculpture is installed freestanding in front of a wall with floor-to-ceiling windows.)

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018 (Detail view of Briar Patch, focused on one of the desks. Numerous long branches appear to grow out of the sculpture.)

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018 (Detail view of Briar Patch. The branches on the seat of the chairs and the surface of the attached desks shoot directly upwards. The chairs and desks are debarked, but the branches are not.)

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018 (Detail view of Briar Patch showing one of the chairs from the side. The connections from the branches to the chairs appear natural and are not manually joined.)

Hugh Hayden, installation view, 2018 (Detail view of Briar Patch focused on one of the table tops, which is made from different pieces of wood joined together. Branches shoot upwards from the table’s surface.)