Tyler Hays
Urinals
July 26 - September 21, 2019

Blue Projects is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of Tyler Hays’ work in the UK.

Spanning various outputs across furniture, painting, sculpture, textiles and ceramics, Hays is the founder and designer behind the American companies BDDW and M.Crow in which he seamlessly brings together these different disciplines. Hays’ multifaceted practice is driven by his interest in the mechanical and domestic function of utilitarian objects, a commitment to local production, and the labour and idiosyncrasy of making by hand.

Born and raised in north-eastern Oregon, Hays is influenced by the heritage of his hometown and his experience of growing up in rural surroundings, where he developed a fascination with raw materials and learned to make everything he could using what was available in his environment. As an artist, plumber, electrician and engineer, he is involved in every part of the process of creating objects and artworks, making reference to 19th-century American life and engaging with ideas of resourcefulness and self-reliance.

Comprised of seven functional wall-mounted urinals, the works on show are sculpted by hand from stoneware clay sourced from beneath Hays’ Philadelphia studio. Each of the works are expressively rendered in unique shapes and finished with copper fixtures, recounting the influence of a particular regionalism and a curiosity towards industrial forms and processes. The works are treated with stains and glazes, some of which call to mind chopped wood and early log cabins, finished with hand-shaped appliques and Hays’ signature hand-painted blue-and-white vignettes of pastoral scenes including flora and fauna, and activities tied to living off the land such as hunting, trapping and shooting.

His works lay bare a connection between production and product, reclaiming the possibility for these objects to genuinely engage with the history to which they allude – distancing them from the associations that the urinal traditionally holds in relation to the readymade. Hays invites the viewer to contemplate the process of object-making and our relationship to the geography around us, invoking a time of optimism and a search for a better way of life.

Domestic Dispute , 2019

glazed ceramic, copper

100 x 47 x 28 cm, 39 1⁄2 x 18 1⁄2 x 11 ins

Pee Bear, 2019

glazed ceramic, copper

93 x 58 x 24 cm, 36 3⁄4 x 23 x 91⁄2 ins

Pheasant Hunt , 2019

glazed ceramic, copper

95 x 51 x 67 cm, 37 1⁄2 x 20 1⁄2 x 6 1⁄4 ins

Friends Urinal, 2019

glazed ceramic, copper

62 x 79 x 25 cm, 24 ½ x 31 x 9 ¾ ins

Captain’s Urinal, 2019

glazed ceramic, copper

109 x 46 x 30 cm 43 x 18 x 12 ins

Vines, 2019

glazed ceramic, copper

74 x 48 x 16 cm, 29 ¼ x 19 x 6 ¼ ins

Roll-Ready, 2019

glazed ceramic, copper

80 x 65 x 29 cm, 31 ½ x 25 ¾ x 11 ½ ins