los-angeles

James Hayward, Honky Tonk Woman, 1972, acrylic on canvas, 66 x 66".

James Hayward

Richard Telles Fine Art

James Hayward, Honky Tonk Woman, 1972, acrylic on canvas, 66 x 66".

Mike Kelley, in a curatorial statement written to accompany a small retrospective he organized in 2005, described James Hayward as “one of the few truly important West Coast painters.” That show, however, was only Hayward’s fourth solo in New York, and he hasn’t exhibited in Manhattan since. Compare his situation with those of some of the most widely acclaimed LA artists (Kelley for one) who regularly exhibit in New York but sometimes leave their hometown feeling neglected. It could be said that Hayward’s West Coast–ness is part of what makes him great, but operating peripheral to the postwar capital of painting has, arguably, marginalized his contribution to the medium. Timed to coincide with “Pacific Standard Time,” the J. Paul Getty Museum–initiated survey of California art (in which Hayward’s work was featured via “Under the Big Black Sun,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art,

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