Buffalo, New York June 2006
Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center: Paintings, drawings, sculpture, video by Frederick Hayes. The work of Frederick Hayes employs broadly expressionist means through a variety of subject matter to explore emblems of urban ritual. As an African-American artist originally from the South, Hayes’s work uses the vernacular of blackness and other as a point of departure for these explorations.
Neither entirely political, social, or psychological, Hayes’s practice moves fluidly between these elements, such that his recent cityscapes, for example, depict both an ominous, turbulent environment – a post 9/11, Oklahoma City, Katrina world – as well as vibrant and passionate landscape, full of beautiful, restless energy. In his series of portraits of African-Americans named Washington, both the commonality of race and the individuality within race are simultaneously evident.