Affinities - Rachel Hayes and Eric Sall

September 27 – November 30, 2019

Rachel Hayes "Open Vision", vinyl, polyester, silk, cotton binding, 59" x 59", 2016

Eric Sall "Range life", oil on canvas, 30" x 24", 2017


Rachel B. Hayes "Prairie Panel", polyester, nylon, thread, 180" x 144", 2018 (installation view)

Eric Sall "So Close and Yet So Far", oil and acrylic on canvas. 84" x 60", 2018

Rachel Hayes "Cryptic", polyester, nylon, thread, cotton binding, 2019

Eric Sall "Citrus Twist", oil, acrylic and pastel on canvas, 72" x 60", 2018

Rachel Hayes "Little Basket", crocheted wire, light gels, 2018

Eric Sall "Deluge 3", oil, acrylic and pastel on canvas, 60" x 72", 2018

Joseph Nease Gallery is proud to announce a two-person exhibition featuring nationally recognized artists Rachel Hayes and Eric Sall opening September 27.  For the first time, this comprehensive exhibition brings together the artist couple’s recent work.  With artworks that range in size from small to monumental, the exhibition includes paintings by Eric and fabric sculptures by Rachel.  Mid-career, and working independently, each brings a unique approach to similar artistic interests such as our interactions with interior and exterior environments, exploring the range of their artistic medium and creating a sense of wonder.

There are obvious affinities in the lives and work of artists Rachel Hayes and Eric Sall.  Meeting in art school and married with two kids, they have interwoven their lives and separate artistic careers.   Both are compelled to use color as bold statements, utilize linear elements to create pattern and motion, and contemplate the definition of space both literally and metaphorically. 

Having grown up on the prairies of South Dakota and Kansas and later living in New York City and Kansas City, Eric’s work is influenced by both environments.  As a keen observer of nature and contemporary culture, his oil paintings are simultaneously contemplative and audacious.  Using expressionistic gestures, bold and subtle along with abstracted forms, he creates artwork with imagery which feels familiar yet does not represent a specific thing or place.

Of his paintings, Eric says –“ I find inspiration in nature, in things such as changing light, saturated color, the power of weather, and the open landscape. Having spent considerable time living in more rural areas of the American Midwest, central plains, and southwest, I have made a deep connection to the land, and it's environment. Yet I have lived in large cities as well, and experiencing the random juxtaposition of the urban environment has also been influential. I can appreciate the world of design and decoration found in things like patterned clothes, company logos, and contemporary architecture, as well as the banality of old warehouse walls, empty parking lots and stray advertisements.”


Fascinated by the interplay of light, motion, and space, textile artist Rachel’s fabric structures combine diverse elements referencing American quilts, contemporary painting concepts, and architecture.  Boldly using materials that are traditionally considered fragile and delicate, she creates monumentally sized installations that become dominant within their environments.  She also creates smaller works which explore the craft and materials in a more intimate scale to the viewer.  

Rachel says -“My work embraces exquisite beauty, converses boldly with architectural spaces, and responds to radiant light, becoming anything from a minimalist sculpture to an abstract painting to a massive stained glass patchwork quilt. I use processes and materials based in craft and design to create abstract compositions that embrace the language of painting while interacting with space in a sculptural/architectural manner.”

Rachel Hayes was born and raised near Kansas City, MO; she earned a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.   Hayes has won numerous commissions to create public art projects in cities and museums across the country. She has attended numerous artist residencies including the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program in Brooklyn, NY, Roswell Artist-in-Residence in Roswell, NM, and the Art Omi International Artists Residency in Ghent, NY. Hayes is the recipient of the Augustus Saint-Gaudens Memorial Fellowship in Sculpture; a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship in Sculpture; Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture; and a Charlotte Street Fund Award. Rachel received a 2016 Joan Mitchell Foundation Award for Painters and Sculptors. More recently, her projects include a commission from Missoni, the Italian fashion house to provide a monumental installation over the runway for their fashion show in Milan, and installing a significant sculpture at Facebook's headquarters as part of their Artist in Residence program. Rachel has based her studio in locations across the USA from Brooklyn, NY, to Roswell, NM. Hayes currently lives in Tulsa, OK where she and her husband Eric Sall are both residents at the Tulsa Artist Fellowship.  They have two children.  


Eric Sall grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota and moved to Kansas City when he was 18. He received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. His works have been shown and collected throughout the United States as well as in Seoul, South Korea. He has attended the residencies of: Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program in Brooklyn, NY, the LMCC Workspace residency in New York, NY, the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program in Roswell, NM, Painting Fellowship, Grant Wood Art Colony, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, and the Yale Summer Program of Music and Art in Norfolk, CT.  Eric is the recipient of an Art in Architecture commission from the General Services Administration, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, a Virginia Museum of Fine Art Fellowship, and a Charlotte Street Fund Award. Last fall, Eric collaborated with the Tulsa Ballet in which he created paintings live as part of the performances.  This December, he will have an exhibition at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa. Eric currently lives and works in Tulsa, OK where he and his wife Rachel Hayes are both residents at the Tulsa Artist Fellowship through the George Kaiser Family Foundation.  They have two children. 


We appreciated seeing you at the opening on September 27, 2019.

Please reference Rachel's and Eric's respective Artist pages for additional information.

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