Gregory Hayes can make an entire artistic galaxy with a small smudge of paint. He is a hyper-pointilist who makes work that consists of small painted dots. The little parts work together to make a bigger image or movement—and each part has its own beauty. Unlike pointillism practitioners who dabbed a single color at a time to a canvas, Hayes’ “dots” features dazzling, bright marbling. His paintings require a closer look.
The work is very straightforward: he fills a canvas with what appears like an ocean of dots that flow in and out of a specific color meditation. Other works feature him making a grid and organizing his dots so that each can be seen, that each has its own articulated face. They are works that work on many levels: from far away, they are pretty paths of movement that could reflect people walking in a city; up close, they show that every stroke is a decided effort, that every part of the painting is a smaller, intentional painting.
Hayes’ works are very varied and has changed over the years. His focusing on dots is his most recent aesthetic turn and is also his most clean: he has refined his concept down to a single point. If you’re in New York City, you can catch his work on view now at Nancy Margolis Gallery. It’s on view through May 17.