Part One 17
TERRARIUMS living terrariums crystal terrariums giant terrariums Part Two
EXHIBITIONS Forest design miami Excerpts from the story of planet thear UNDERSTORY NOCTURNE OF THE LIMAX MAXIMUS WEXNER CENTER FOR THE ARTS Land Mind Part Three
Landscapes Atlantic Ocean Landscape Treetops Terrace Manhattan Forest Garden Rosen Garden David Zwirner Gallery Terrace Multitiered Crystal Garden Rock Garden W Hotel South Beach Tip of the Island Landscape Cutler-Israel Meadow Garden Pink Blue Orange Garden Salon 94 Garden Hauser & Wirth Gallery Terrace Seaside Residence Jeanne and Michael Klein Landscape Hayes-Camporeale Garden
In 1997 Hayes exhibited her first living works at the AC Project Room in New York City, a gallery run by artists Paul Bloodgood, Anne Chu, Sandra Vellejos, and director Alissa Friedman. Hayes’s solo show was comprised of one cubic yard of earth from her family’s farm in upstate New York encased in a wooden crate with a fitted canvas sheath, a collection of potted plants and trees on a stepped wooden shelf, a wall-mounted, rectangular glass terrarium, and a framed contract entitled “An Agreement for a Potted Plant as an Artwork.” This was to be cosigned by Hayes and the eventual collector, and it asked him or her to maintain the life of the work by “expressing the beauty of maintaining life, art, and feeling through gardening.” Hayes’s next solo exhibition, Forest (2004), at Salon 94 in New York City, was the show that brought to fruition her more fully developed practice. A collection of living works in glass vessels rested in the gallery's conservatory and looked out onto the gallery's garden, which Hayes had also designed, in 2001. These vessels were sensually shaped, handblown containers filled with intricate landscapes comprised of tiny, delicate plants. She continued to emphasize the relationship of the caretaker to the vessel and its contents in upholding what constitutes a living work of art. The sculpture's seductive beauty, she articulated, grew from the relationship
of responsibility and could only be achieved with an act of care—a devotional, quotidian act not only to behold a living system but to maintain it. The Lilliputian worlds within each Living Terrarium remain open to the air through a small aperture: an opening for interaction. Hayes’s designs are not sealed vessels as were their historical predecessors, the Wardian cases first used in the Victorian era. These glass carrying boxes were meant to keep tropical plants alive during the long sea voyages from their native lands on other continents to the ferro-vitreous greenhouses of the newly opened Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in Southwest London. In Hayes’s work, the energies of innovation and exploitation are in constant struggle within objects that straddle the line between animate and inanimate. For every terrarium Hayes places, she still insists that the collector cosigns an agreement wherein she, the creator, and the new owner, or caretaker, agree to take responsibility for keeping the work alive. The collector must commit to developing a horticultural practice diligent enough to sustain the fragile life that has been displaced from its natural ecological system, previously unattended by humans, for his or her pleasure. The larger implications of Hayes's work and the key to understanding it on a level beyond the immediate,
visceral pleasure of beholding a terrarium's physical form and contents relate to what she views as the never-ending attempt to explore our own desires for beauty, as well as our desire to shape our own environments. Her terrariums are meant to help us meditate on a way to reconcile our wants and responsibilities in a world whose living systems hang in an ever-more-fragile balance between preservation and destruction. Forest was received with much critical acclaim, and it spawned an explosion of inspired followers. Several publications generated viral internet distribution of the organic terrarium forms Hayes first created: domes, orbs, and peanut- and egg-shaped vessels, and later the Moon Gem Terrariums, which feature magnifying “lenses” blown directly into the glass. Hayes’s distinctive, mixed palette of plants and nonorganic materials that create the aesthetic she is now known for started a resurgence of the terrarium in the twenty-first century as an iconic symbol of something at once visceral and spiritual. It was a well-timed artistic response to the pressing contemporary questions of what role humans should play in nature and what our responsibilities are toward caring for it.
Dome Terrarium T081, 2008 15.5 x 15.5 x 16"
â€œTerrariums are part object, part meditation, part responsibility, part committment to its life. The interaction is what's beautiful about them.â€?
left to right, top to bottom Dome Terrarium T042, 2006 12 x 13 x 13" Dome Terrarium T047, 2006 11 x 14 x 12.5" Dome Terrarium T049, 2006 8 x 9 x 8.25" Dome Terrarium T067, 2008 9 x 10.5 x 9.5" Dome Terrarium T051, 2006 10 x 14 x 12" Dome Terrarium T066, 2008 8.5 x 11.5 x 10" Dome Terrarium T062, 2008 9 x 13 x 10" Dome Terrarium T077, 2008 13 x 17 x 15.5" Dome Terrarium T081, 2008 15.5 x 15.5 x 16"
above Moon Gem Terrarium MG01, 2008 Succulents, gems, recycled glass 9 x 15 x 12" opposite Moon Gem Terrarium MG04, 2008 Succulents, gems, recycled glass 11.5 x 17 x 12" overleaf Aquarium A1, 2007 Moss ball, seaweed, clam shell, recycled glass 17 x 18 x 14"
NOCTURNE OF THE LIMAX MAXIMUS The Museum of Modern Art | New York, New York | November 17, 2010 – April 18, 2011
This two-part, commissioned installation for the lobby of the Museum of Modern Art was conceived specially to bring green, living plant forms to the institution's main entrance during the often-bleak New York winter months. The living botanical sculptures—organically shaped vessels made from cast acrylic and hand-blown glass, filled with a rich variety of plant life—expanded upon Hayes’s prior terrarium forms due to their large scale and the quantity and variety of life contained in them. The first, a 15-foot-long, wall-mounted, horizontal sculpture entitled Slug, was mounted on the west wall, and the second, a freestanding, 13-foot-high, floor-to-ceiling structure entitled Egg stood nearby. Hayes tended the plants growing in the sculptures during the museum's closed hours throughout the duration of the exhibition, in an unseen piece of performance art that nurtured the life within the vessels. The introduction of living organic matter as artwork was revolutionary in the sense that it continued to grow and need human attention, whereas most of modern art is complete by the moment of its display and remains static. The Western tradition of meticulous conservators seeking to protect a piece of art from showing time's effects on the work is in contrast to Hayes’s approach, where the humble act of daily devotion to the visceral needs of the sculpture precipitates the very change that ensures its survival. The title of the installation refers to the the leopard slug, a hermaphroditic animal with mating rituals quite unique in the natural world. Two twine around each other to form a caduceus shape, then suspend themselves in mid-air from a long mucous string. The incandescent, blue male organs of each emerge from the tops of their heads and, likewise, twine around the other's to form a glowing orb that slowly morphs into a flowerlike form. Hayes said she was struggling to come up with a concept for enlivening the dim lobby during the dark but bustling holiday time—the request from Ann Temkin, chief curator of MoMA's Department of Painting and Sculpture—and it wasn't until she was “bathing in warm water” when she “saw the installation in a flash . . . a coupling of living forms, luminously and miraculously fertilizing the space.”
JEANNE AND MICHAEL KLEIN LANDSCAPE In the high desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Hayes worked with Jeanne and Michael Klein—collectors of minimalist art—to curate their house's striking site with carefully chosen and judiciously placed specimen trees and other nonnative plants. Augmenting the immediate surrounds of the inhabited outdoor areas with a hybrid mixture of both native and drought-tolerant flowering perennials also meant installing a water-harvesting system so that certain areas could be irrigated. Hayes incorporated her silicone planters to introduce sculptural elements to the landscape. She placed these soft, organically shaped, yet undeniably industrial elements to create a buffer zone between cultivated areas of human habitation and the protected wilderness beyond. Softly blended colors ease one transitional area into the next, and textures and bloom times overlap. For Hayes, mixing horticultural sensibilities on this project opened up a new chapter in her development as a landscape designer. Her previous philosophy of always retaining a singular, pure approach to a project by using exclusively native plants became nuanced and more complex. Hayes allowed her relationship with these clients and their desires to force her to reevaluate and challenge her former approach to landscape design and its focus on using native plants exclusively. She returned to the property one growing season later, and, after walking in its high desert surrounds for an afternoon; returned to the house in the early evening light. She said, “It was an epiphany to me coming up to the property after having been in the mystical forest. I saw the landscape I designed as having an extraterrestrial feeling within what we consider to be pristine nature—something I had originally wanted to return to the site as a designer. I saw that an alternate state, the incorporation of plants from other climates mixed with the native vegetation, felt like a true ‘close encounter.’ ”
TIP OF THE ISLAND LANDSCAPE Sites of true natural beauty, like this one on Long Island's far East End, always inspire Hayes to weave some of what is already there with more of what is there. Intervening as little as possible and instead gently encouraging the land to reveal more of its own character is often the best approach, she feels. Nothing artificial or man-made should distract attention from the sacred times of sunrise and sunset here, when a distinct horizon line over the water moves to divide day from night, or from preventing the audible rhythms of the ocean keeping time from reaching the house. This structure, perched high on sandy cliffs, was originally surrounded by any developer's quickest solution to covering up the land cleared for construction: lawn on a mound. Nothing could be more starkly contrasted with the delicate, limited palette of native plant life that has evolved slowly to hold the salty coastline in place. In this area, constant and fierce sea winds limit shrubs and trees to those that reach a relatively low, uniform height. Hayes returned native vegetation up to the edges of the mound and flattened a portion of it closest to the house to create an open space for play and to give the house's hillside entrance more of a natural "embrace." She also devised a pergola with artist Mark Wilson of rough-hewn, rustic beams on the leeward side of the house and planted it with wisteria to create a serene sitting area out of the wind and sun. In short, Hayes reintroduced established trees, shrubs, grasses, and perennials close to the house, and placed them in naturalistic massings with the intention of having them eventually merge with their indiginous cousins. She placed native-stone slabs and large pavers as simple, unobtrusive paths along the inclines to the house and declinations toward the ocean. Over time, only the areas closest to the house will reveal the hand of human intervention, and the property can become a true retreat where its owners can feel, hear, and smell the ocean and admire the coastline's delicately balanced mix of plant life.
Native stone steps lead visitors to the ocean through awide border of vegetation native to the Atlantic seaboard.