Lisson Gallery

Hugh Hayden

Hugh Hayden’s practice considers the anthropomorphization of the natural world as a visceral lens for exploring the human condition. Hayden transforms familiar objects through a process of selection, carving and juxtaposing to challenge our perceptions of ourselves, others and the environment. Raised in Texas and trained as an architect, his work arises from a deep connection to nature and its organic materials. Hayden utilizes wood as his primary medium, frequently loaded with multi-layered histories in their origin, including objects as varied as discarded trunks, rare indigenous timbers, Christmas trees or souvenir African sculptures. From these he saws, sculpts and sands the wood, often combining disparate species, creating new composite forms that also reflect their complex cultural backgrounds. Crafting metaphors for human existence and past experience, Hayden’s work questions the stasis of social dynamics and asks the viewer to examine their place within an ever-shifting ecosystem. 

Hugh Hayden was born in Dallas, Texas in 1983 and lives and works in New York City. He holds an MFA from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University. Hayden’s work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions in the United States and abroad. Recent solo exhibitions include public art installations, ‘Huff and a Puff’, at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA (2023), and ‘Brier Patch’, at the Madison Square Park Conservancy in New York, NY, which later travelled to the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC, and Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in Washington, DC. Other solo institutional and gallery exhibitions include ‘Boogey Men’ at Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, Miami, FL, which travelled to the Blaffer Art Museum, Houston, TX; ‘Huey’, Lisson Gallery, New York, NY; ‘Hues’, C L E A R I N G, Brussels, Belgium; ‘Hugh Hayden: American Food’, Lisson Gallery, London, UK; ‘Hugh Hayden: Creation Myths’, Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ; and ‘Hugh Hayden’, White Columns, New York, NY. Recent group exhibitions include ‘Forest of Dreams: Contemporary Tree Sculpture’, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, MI (2023) and ‘NGV Triennial’, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2023).

He is the recipient of residencies at Glenfiddich in Dufftown, Scotland (2014); Abrons Art Center and Socrates Sculpture Park (both 2012), and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2011). Hayden holds positions on advisory councils at Columbia University School of the Arts, Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University and Cornell College of Architecture Art and Planning. His work is part of public collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, CA; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY, USA; Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, Miami, FL, USA; deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA; Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA; Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ; and more.

The Jones Part 3

Hugh Hayden
The Jones Part 3

2018
Sculpted eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) with steel 199.4 x 457.2 x 67.9 cm 78 1/2 x 180 x 26 3/4 in

Pulpit

Hugh Hayden
Pulpit

2019
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter and flocking on American black walnut with PA system 183 x 122 x 40.6 cm 72 x 48 x 15 7/8 in

Hedges

Hugh Hayden
Hedges

2019
Sculpted wood, lumber, hardware, mirror and carpet 365.8 x 528.3 x 528.3 cm 144 x 208 x 208 in

America

Hugh Hayden
America

2018
Sculpted mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) on plywood

Crown of Thorns

Hugh Hayden
Crown of Thorns

2020
Welded steel 20.3 x 34 x 27 cm 8 x 13 3/8 x 10 5/8 in

Can't We All Just Get Along

Hugh Hayden
Can't We All Just Get Along

2020
Hornbeam with steel hardware and oak dowels 206 x 362 x 254 cm 81 x 142 1/2 x 100 in

Can't We All Just Get Along

Hugh Hayden
Can't We All Just Get Along

2020
Hornbeam with steel hardware and oak dowels 206 x 362 x 254 cm 81 x 142 1/2 x 100 in

Jazz 4

Hugh Hayden
Jazz 4

2019
Seasoned cast iron 58.4 x 25.7 x 7.6 cm 23 x 10 1/8 x 3 in

Jazz 4

Hugh Hayden
Jazz 4

2019
Seasoned cast iron 58.4 x 25.7 x 7.6 cm 23 x 10 1/8 x 3 in

Talented and Gifted / Passing

Hugh Hayden
Talented and Gifted / Passing

2021
Gabon ebony (heartwood and sapwood)
84.5 x 154.9 x 73.7 cm
33 1/4 x 61 x 29 in

What's going on?

Hugh Hayden
What's going on?

2022

Copper coated cast iron
Installed: 69.2 x 67 x 22.9 cm
Installed: 27 1/4 x 26 3/8 x 9 in

Fee-fi-fo-fum

Hugh Hayden
Fee-fi-fo-fum

2021
Smilax rotundifolia (common greenbier)
299.7 x 274.3 x 72.4 cm
118 x 108 x 28 1/2 in

Eden

Hugh Hayden
Eden

2022
Bent Laminated Cedar with Steel
76.2 x 91.4 x 50.8 cm
30 x 36 x 20 in

Cinderella

Hugh Hayden
Cinderella

2021
Smilax rotundifolia (common greenbrier) and rattan
123.2 x 139.7 x 35.6 cm
48 1/2 x 55 x 14 in

Museum Exhibitions

Exhibitions

  1. Hugh Hayden

    Hugh Hayden

    May - June 2024

  2. Hugh Hayden: Hughman

    Hugh Hayden: Hughman

    18 November – 13 January 2024

  3. Selected Works in Seoul

    Selected Works in Seoul

    2 September – 10 September 2023

  4. The odds are good, the goods are odd

    The odds are good, the goods are odd

    29 June – 5 August 2022

  5. Pavilions

    Pavilions

    14 January – 12 February 2022

  6. Hugh Hayden: Huey

    Hugh Hayden: Huey

    30 June – 13 August 2021

  7. Hugh Hayden

    Hugh Hayden

    5 November – 15 November 2020

  8. Hugh Hayden: American Food

    Hugh Hayden: American Food

    12 March – 31 July 2020

  9. Hugh Hayden: Border States

    Hugh Hayden: Border States

    15 September – 27 October 2018

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