Lisson Gallery

Hugh Hayden: Hughmans

New York, 2 May – 2 August 2024

Hugh Hayden: Hughmans artwork
Hugh Hayden: Hughmans artwork
Hugh Hayden: Hughmans artwork

Following his solo exhibition in Los Angeles, Hugh Hayden continues his exploration of the prosthetics of power in a new series of works and site-specific installations created for the Lisson Gallery New York space. In Hughmans, Hayden reengages with the concept of the bathroom stall in order to investigate experiences of revelation, intimacy, desire, and sexuality – this time through the lens of the collective experience.  

Known for his poignant metaphors and examinations of human existence, Hayden's work transcends individual experience to probe the collective consciousness. Hughmans maintains his signature use of wood as a primary medium alongside bronze, resin, and silicone, amplifying the depth and texture of his narrative. At the heart of the exhibition lies an ambitious site-specific installation, unraveling the complexities of power dynamics in contemporary society. Hayden transforms mundane elements into profound symbols, inviting viewers to confront their own perceptions and assumptions of daily life. 

In the gallery, visitors will find an arrangement of metal bathroom stalls, each concealing an artwork within. This unconventional setup challenges notions of privacy and intimacy, urging viewers to reconsider their relationship with public spaces. Two wooden sculptures embodying the fictional character Pinocchio will be exhibited. Ebanocchio (2024) and Nocecchio (2024) serve as contrasting counterparts, one crafted from ebony and the other from walnut. In the original fairytale, Pinocchio’s name was also derived from his physical, wooden origin, ‘Pino’ being the Italian term for pine. These works employ Hayden’s recurring conceptual gesture of wood and the intersection of materiality and identity. The artist recently unveiled another sculpture, Geppetto (2023), in his comprehensive exhibition, American Vernacular, at the Laumeier Sculpture Park. Named in reference to Pincocchio’s father, the work serves as an antecedent to the pieces showcased in New York. Like much of Hayden’s ouvre, the fantastical story of the marionette is often attributed as a metaphor for the human condition. 

In another stall, the artist will present Harlem (2024), a new ensemble of cast iron melting pots and copper pans – works which serve as a metaphor for the creation of America through cultural diversity. These particular sculptures will depict both facial features and functional musical instruments. This iteration of melting pots, made using sand casting, synthesizes diasporic movement and the African origins of the US. Unlike past presentations of similar works which were hung from the wall and ceiling, these works will be suspended from a New York City subway-style handrail.

Read more

More information


508 West 24th Street
New York

Opening Times:
Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

View map
We use cookies on our website to improve your experience. You can find out why by reading our privacy policy. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies Privacy Policy