November 3, 2014

ROBBIN ZELLA at (203) 332-5052

Housatonic Museum of Art Presents
David Hayes: Modern Master of American Abstraction

Seal, 1973
Painted, welded steel with rotating element.
90 x 65 x 92 inches.

Bridgeport, CT – Join Housatonic Museum of Art for the opening reception of David Hayes: Modern Master of American Abstraction in celebration of this important Connecticut sculptor whose career spanned six decades. David Hayes continued to paint, sculpt and exhibit until his death on April 9, 2013. The drawings and maquettes on view here are studies for his monumental sculptures and include the biomorphic and geometric forms that comprise his signature style. This event is free and open to the public and will take place in the Burt Chernow Galleries at the HMA on Thursday, December 11 from 5:30 – 7:00pm.

Born in Hartford, he maintained a home and studio in Coventry, CT where dozens of his sculptures are situated throughout fifty-plus acres of bucolic farm and woodlands. The influence of his mentor David Smith and his friend Alexander Calder are visible in the playful welded steel polychrome works on display in the gallery. Hayes drew his inspiration from nature, translating delicate foliage into lyrical, brightly painted industrial strength sculptures.

David Hayes (1931-2013) earned his MFA from Indiana University where, as noted above, he studied with internationally renowned Abstract Expressionist sculptor David Smith. He was the recipient of a Fulbright Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His works are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Brooklyn Museum, Everson Museum, Carnegie Institute and Fitchburg Museum, Detroit Institute of the Arts, and the Wadsworth Atheneum as well as numerous corporate and private collections.

About Housatonic Museum of Art:
The Housatonic Museum of Art (HMA) is home to one of the premier college art collections in the United States. Its collection offers students and the community alike the opportunity to view works that span the history of art from the ancient to the contemporary. Unique to the Housatonic Community College campus, this permanent collection is on continuous display throughout the 300,000 square foot facility, offering a rare opportunity for both art enthusiasts and casual observers to view and interact with the art on a daily basis.

The Museum, founded by Burt Chernow, Professor Emeritus (1933-1997), is dedicated to the presentation, preservation and interpretation of objects of artistic or historic value. The collection provides a basis for exhibitions and educational programs for faculty, students and the public; for research and study by scholars, historians and curators, for special lectures and symposia, and for cultural and educational enrichment of the academic community and public-at-large. Under the direction of Robbin Zella, the Museum also presents lectures, programs and changing exhibitions in the Burt Chernow Galleries, and continues to be recognized as a major cultural resource for the Greater Bridgeport area and the region.