Dan Hays – Lecture 17 February 2016

DanHays 5_Lecture_Feb2016

Harmony in Green won the John Moore’s prize 1997

This painting has become a favourite with Gallery visitors. It demonstrates a traditional artistic concern with the truthful representation of visual reality. Hays adopts an unusually shallow perspective and an unusual treatment of the spaces between the bars. The colours form a random, harmonious pattern. He made the cage his height to create ‘a desirable space to occupy.’

Harmony in Green is the sub-title of a Monet water-lily painting. Hays recalled Impressionism as he worked on this, stating, Green is the colour of nature.

He was born in London and studied art there at Goldsmiths College. Since winning the John Moores Hays has exhibited internationally, and his work has been acquired by the Tate.



Dan Hays


1966 Born in London.
1987-90 BA Fine Art, Goldsmith’s College, London.
2008-12 PhD in Fine Art, Kingston University.
Lives and works in London.
Dan Hays work is influenced by poor quality print, bad registration and the ‘snow’ effect of a badly tuned TV.  He’s interested in the electronic image and it’s fleeting transcience. Likes the TV effect of horizontal bands and the shifting image as a result as well as poor quality images from web cams.  Alongside this explores and plays with different forms and colour.  Harmony in green is an example of him using Photoshop to explore colours trying for perfect inversions of each other.

Webcam images have a strange temporality for Dan Hays and remind him of Monet and his paintings of landscapes painted at different times of the year. ie The Haystacks series.

Influenced by the impressionists, particularly Cezanne.  Also by Gerhard Richter and his ‘dragging’ technique.




Paints in layers starting with the main image and then adds another layer that will have a colour or pattern system, as above.  Often the top layer will look like a language or hieroglyphics on closer viewing but from a distance the original image is seen as below:


DanHays 1_Lecture_Feb2016


DanHays 2_Lecture_Feb2016


DanHays 3-Lecture_Feb2016

Close up view showing one of his colour and dot systems


The close up views have an optical effect.  Interested in disrupting the image with flaws and glitches. The screen both hides and reveals.  Proximity of viewing changes dependent on distance to the work. His paintings invite a mobile encounter.



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