Notre Dame alum David Hayes believed his hard-edged, flat-black, steel sculptures were “organic,” and he asserted “they should feel like they belong in nature.”
While Hanging Screen Sculpture #8 was likely inspired by the shape of leaves (a common Hayes’ motif), as installed within the Sculpture Park it appears like a large spider dropping from a tree limb. His sculptures share affinities with Alexander Calder’s playful stabiles (he met Calder in Paris) and with shapes and colors found in Matisse’s paper cutouts. That is, his artworks are firmly rooted within Modern artists’ interests in abstracting nature, in utilizing consumer and industrial materials and in fabricating art by both hand and machine processes.
Hanging Screen Sculpture #18, 2002, David Hayes (American, 1931–2013), welded and painted steel, 25 x 24 x 29 inches. Art Purchase Fund, 2013.018