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 juxtaposition 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. His work was the subject of a solo exhibition at White Columns in New York in 2018. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including JTT, New York (2018); Clearing, New York (2018); Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (2018); PPOW Gallery, New York (2017); Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York (2017); Postmasters Gallery, New York (2016); MoMA PS1, Rockaway Beach, New York (2014); Socrates Sculpture Park, New York (2014); and Abrons Art Center, New York (2013), among others. He is the recipient of residences at Glenfiddich in Dufftown, Scotland (2014); Abrons Art Center and Socrates Sculpture Park (both 2012), and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2011).

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


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


Hugh Hayden
Zelig, 2013
Sharptail grouse feathers on logs.
Installation view, "Among the Trees", 2020, Hayward Gallery, London. (Photo: Mark Blower)


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


  1. Hugh Hayden: American Food

    Hugh Hayden: American Food

    12 March – 2 May 2020

  2. Hugh Hayden: Border States

    Hugh Hayden: Border States

    15 September – 27 October 2018

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