Artist’s 90th birthday exhibition includes monumentally-scaled detailed paintings of cats’ coats

Some of Alex Hay's artwork hanging in gallery
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Peter Freeman, Inc., is pleased to announce a retrospective of Alex Hay’s work through May 29, 2021.

Originally planned for April 2020, which was the month of the artist’s 90th birthday last year, this exhibition is the sixth for this artist at this gallery.

Hay’s latest paintings, on view for the first time, are monumentally-scaled details of the coats of four of his cats, TitoLilyBella, and Marigold. What distinguishes the new series is their multi-panel format: each cat is represented by two to four canvases that can be mixed and matched, shown in any order or orientation.

According to a press release, circumstance has always been an impetus for Hay’s work, is at their core. By responding to and recording his whereabouts or activities, making use of a tool or material at hand, Hay’s work reflects his state of perpetual observation.

The exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, and drawings from 1963 to 2020, with loans from the Archives of American Art, The Lowe Art Museum, Weatherspoon Art Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Alex Hay moved to New York from Florida in 1959, and by 1962 was a part of the nascent Judson Dance Theatre, gaining early recognition for his performances, while simultaneously working as a visual artist. Following his first group exhibition in 1964, he had solo exhibitions at Kornblee Gallery in 1967, 1968 and 1969—all of which were met with critical attention, and from which the Whitney Museum of American Art as well as influential collectors acquired works.

Hay showed two- and three-dimensional, larger-than-life painted representations of everyday objects and things he liked, including breakfast, a light bulb, paper bags, a cash register receipt, notebook pages, and restaurant guest checks.

By the early seventies he began making annual drives cross country, spending increasingly more time outside of New York, and often hosted on the West Coast by Stanley and Elyse Grinstein, important figures on the Los Angeles art scene. Finally Hay settled in Bisbee, Arizona, pulling away from the gallery system, as his interest in esoteric subjects developed along with his desire to limit distractions and outside influences on his work which always continued.

For more information, visit: https://www.peterfreemaninc.com/exhibitions

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