James Hayward's (b. 1943, San Francisco, CA; based in Moorpark, CA) focus on the monochrome easily positions his interpretation within the lineage of abstract painting, from Malevich and Mondrian to Reinhardt and Ryman. They exist as immediate visual experiences apart from any representational reference, where the reception of the work is reflected within the work itself. Beginning in the 1970s with the "automatic" or flat paintings devoid of the artist's mark to the thicker, impasto 'monochrome abstractions' that have defined his more recent work, both techniques explore color - extending from pure hues to complex combinations - through different effects, varying grades of opacity, thickness, and texture. Every subsequent marking, built up from the surface to the point where they form sculptural peaks and fissures, is pivotal to the structural physicality of the work. This process creates an irreproducible distinct identity that dually epitomizes and affirms the physical act of painting. The end results are seductive studies of color effortlessly intertwining with the materiality of paint.
Hayward has exhibited widely in numerous solo and group shows, including Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2011); Recent Paintings (Curated by Mike Kelley), Cue Art Foundation, New York, NY (2005); Awards in the Visual Arts 10, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C. (1991); Images of an Era, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (1996); James Hayward/Peter Lodato/John McLaughlin, Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (1979); and New Abstract Painting in Los Angeles: Cole/Hayward/Miller/Omar, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (1976). His work is held in a number of permanent private and public institutional collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Denver Museum of Modern Art, Denver, CO; Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, Minneapolis, IL; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA and the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH, among many others.