Art@Bainbridge | Hugh Hayden: Creation Myths

Hugh Hayden, America, 2018. Sculpted mesquite on plywood. Museum purchase Kathleen Compton Sherrerd Fund for Acquisitions in American Art

In Creation Myths, Hugh Hayden (b. 1983) reimagined the domestic spaces of Bainbridge House through meticulously constructed surrealistic sculptures that interrogate issues of home, society, and the politics of materials. Hayden’s “kitchen” featured cast-iron skillets fused with casts of African art and art representing African subjects in order to consider the African American cooks who helped create American cuisine. The “study” included a claw-machine game filled with cotton bolls in reference to African American labor and the history of industrialized agriculture in the American South. America, the table and chairs covered in thorns in the “dining room,” evoked the unattainability of the American Dream. Finally, with school desks encased in branches that collectively suggest a briar patch, the “classroom” confronted questions about education and access. Creation Myths was curated by Alex Bacon, curatorial associate, with Mitra Abbaspour, Haskell Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.