Frederick Hayes continues his exploration of African American portraiture, and urban landscape using charcoal and paint. Frederick Hayes’s exhibition takes the viewer on a walk through his city, albeit a fictionalized city. Hayes’s city is filled with faces both known and unknown; billowing cloud formations over geometric urban cityscapes; and detailed brick facades. Hayes comments, “I have an undeniable interest in portraiture, the African American experience, the working class, and the sort of learned approach to art making that manifests itself in various guises and disguises. Each idea or set of images represents a fragment that can function on its on or with other works. For me they are documents that narrate a small piece of what I observe and experience day to day. They are just as much about the materiality of the medium and its process, as they are about a community of thoughts.”
Art critic Roberta Smith wrote in the New York Times, “Mr. Hayesʼs subject might be defined as both the richness and harshness of urban life… Jane Jacobs saw cities as magnets for ‘people with ideas of their own’. These are the people Mr. Hayes paints.” On March 28th, 2010, Ms. Smith again references Hayes in a New York Times article she wrote about painting, “It’s not Dry Yet”: ” Frederick Hayes resurrects the loaded brush and charged forms of Max Beckmann, subject of a recent retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art.”
In 2004, Frederick Hayes exhibited small paintings of radiators and large drawings of urban landscapes in his first exhibition at PSG. The Addison Gallery of American Art, The New Museum, SFMOMA, and The Studio Museum in Harlem were among the first museums to add Hayes drawings to their collections. Hayes received the Richard C. Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship at the San Francisco Art Institute, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and the Eureka Fellowship.