Hugh Hayden builds furniture not intended for human use, crafting benches and chairs from pieces of wood without removing the original branches or twigs. In these sculptural works the stray forms make it nearly impossible to use the object as a piece of furniture. The shape an Adirondack chair is present, like in his piece The Jones and Other Borrowed Ideas, yet its impediments make sitting an uncomfortable challenge.
Hayden’s imbedded branches serve as a camouflage system that explores how his designed objects might blend into a natural landscape. His piece “Brier Patch,” which features six carved school desks, “juxtaposes the organic, unpredictability of the natural world (e.g. undergrowth, a thicket etc.) with the ordered and disciplined pursuit of education and greater civilization,” he explains. “The branches extending from the desks are entangled and materialize this integration into the landscape or environment, creating a visible, unifying space, that is at once protective and impenetrable.”
His solo exhibition at White Columns runs through June 2, 2018, and is his first in New York City. Hayden recently received is MFA in Sculpture from Columbia University, and his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University in 2007. You can see more of his sculptures on his website and Instagram.