David Hayes: Sentinels
David Hayes (1931-2013) is an American artist known for his large steel sculptures that seem to defy the real weight of steel. Heavy sheets of steel, bolted and welded, appear weightless by way of their curving forms that mimic sails, wings, and sometimes figures. This duality adds new dimension to the FWMoA experience, causing visitors to ask questions about form, space, material, and process.
The sculpture of David Hayes is often characterized by animated, moving lines, and active, semi-figurative forms that seem to call in to question the heaviness of its material. Each sculpture behaves singularly, interacting with the elements and its specific place in space and time, yet the installation of six Sentinels is a family illustrating the poetry that emerges as each plane of steel speaks to another through the words of nature.
David Hayes was born in Hartford, Connecticut and received an A.B. degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1953 and a M.F.A. degree from Indiana University in 1955 where he studied with David Smith. He has received a post-doctoral Fulbright award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is a recipient of the Logan Prize for Sculpture and an award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He has had over 300 exhibitions and is included in over 100 institutional collections including that of the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. In 2007 was conferred an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Albertus Magnus College. He worked in Coventry, Connecticut and died April 9, 2013 of leukemia at the age of 82, four days after his final opening.