Throughout the last thirty years, California artist James Hayward has exclusively dedicated his studio practice to painting in monochrome. Diversity abounds within the artist’s palette, with colors ranging from absolutely pure, to combinations so complex and perverse that Hayward assumes no such color has ever existed before. This rejection of formal strictures has evolved very much out of Hayward’s determination to avoid any form of presupposition for the sake of pure painting.

James Hayward’s canvases of the 1970s were flat, single-hued panels of black, dark green, or gray. In 1977, he was invited to participate in the famous “Less is More” exhibition at New York’s Sidney Janis Gallery, which brought him national recognition. While in New York, he was introduced to Robert Ryman, Brice Marden and Sean Scully, who were influential in Hayward receiving a fellowship to Japan in 1982. There, he became keenly interested in the calligraphic mark. He began to paint in a more expressionistic and spontaneous way, experimenting with thick paint and wax, while also adding deep, rich, vibrant primary colors to his palette. On returning to the U.S, Hayward began creating paint-rich, deeply impasto surfaces that have characterized most of his work in recent years.

Hayward's work has been featured in galleries and museums across the world including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Hirschorn Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Institute of Contemporary Art in London.