James Hyde at The Boiler

Stuart Davis Group

28 May – 27 June, 2010

Press Release
In 1928, after listening to a Louis Armstrong recording, Stuart Davis later recalled that “Earl Hines piano playing has served me as proof that art can exist.” A like-minded improviser and compositionalist, Davis himself could have been considered a maker of jazz, which was in his own words, “an abstract art of real order.”
During the last five years, Hyde has actively photographed minute details of Davis’ paintings and enlarged them as stretched vinyl prints to the size of billboards. These photographic recordings of Davis’ paintings act as grounds, catalysts for Hyde’s own application of paint, becoming compositions in their own right.
Pierogi will present six billboard-size paintings from James Hyde’s “Stuart Davis Group” at The Boiler.
With his pioneering of jazz shapes in painting, Stuart Davis developed one of the foundational paradigms of modernist abstraction—the synesthetic linking of music and shape. In these massive paintings, Hyde samples Davis’ work, a visual correlation to the sampling utilized in hip-hop and electronic music. Hyde’s gestures visibly interact with Davis’—obscuring and/or framing them, to create a duet of photograph and paint through the two distinct sensibilities of Davis and Hyde.
Hyde casts a retrospective lens on Davis’ paintings. But this is not a nostalgic reconstruction, instead the photographic images record the vitality of Davis’ painterly touch, but also the cracks and wrinkles from aging. Hyde’s paintings do not enshrine Davis, but bring his attitude into the context and scale of Pop and Minimalism. With this group of paintings, Hyde collaborates with Davis as a working intelligence who envisioned the possibilities of painting in the present tense.
James Hyde’s work has been included in numerous US and international exhibitions and is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), the Guggenheim Museum of Art (NYC), The Brooklyn Museum (NYC), and the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, DC), among others. He is a recent recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.