Using low-resolution images of landscape gleaned from the Internet as his starting point, Dan Hays constructs paintings that question the technology-driven obsession with high definition optical verisimilitude, and the passive observer this configures. Connections to the history of landscape painting, between the classical and the sublime, or Impressionism and Symbolism, are not explicit. More, they are shown to be a latent quality of any fugitive frame of YouTube video or crudely positioned ski-resort or traffic webcam. These images tend towards abstraction through disintegration, suggesting a broader sense of longing for something lost.
Hays’ paintings present a paradoxical visual realm where immaterial pixel and physical brushstroke coalesce. The digital screen’s icy crystalline matrix, seamless deliverer of watery flows of information, is rendered by pigmented oily mud on a weave of fabric.
Dan Hays (1966) holds a BA Fine Art, Goldsmith’s College, London (UK, 1987-90) and holds a Ph.D under the “Centre for Useless Splendour”, Kingston University (UK, 2008-2011). Other academic involvements are the publication of articles and the project “FADE – Fine Art Digital Environment”, University of the Arts, London (UK, 2008-09). The artist lives and works in London. Previous exhibitions count e.g.: “Failing Light” (solo), Zürcher Studio, New York (US, 2009). “Close to the Surface: Digital Presence”, ICA, London (UK, 2008). “Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks”, Den Frie Udstillingsbygning – Contemporary Art Space, Cph, (DK, 2008). Dan Hays is represented in the following British collections (e.g.): Tate Gallery, Walker Art Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, Saatchi. Dan Hays is prizewinner of the “20th John Moores Prize for Contemporary Painting”, Liverpool (1997).