The Nancy Margolis Gallery in Chelsea is currently exhibiting Gregory Hayes’ paintings. These works begin with a graphite grid drawn onto the canvas. The artist places a drop of paint into each grid space. The pigment is applied using a plastic squeeze bottle filled with layers of different colors of acrylic paint.
In “Untitled (BYR)” Hayes uses the square grids to build a work based on concentric squares. The mix of color in the droplet of paint changes to create an order 4 rotational symmetry. These paintings have aesthetic properties on two scales. Although Hayes consciously layers the paint in the squeeze bottles, the micro environment of the swirling colors in the droplets have a free flowing quality. By painstakingly applying drops in each grid space and adjusting the colors using rules the geometric macro environment of the concentric squares is much more rigid. The contrast between these two aesthetic qualities highlights the distinction between looking closely at a small element of the painting and seeing the work in its entirety.