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Variations on the Annunciation is comprised of paintings that James Hayward made in Rome in the late 1990s. During his time in Italy, he was intrigued by paintings of the Renaissance masters Titian, Caravaggio, Bellini, and Botticelli. Fascinated by depictions of the Annunciation, Hayward says, “As Renaissance painting goes, the Annunciation is the high point of optimism. Quickly darkness and gore take over. I preferred to riff on the optimism and began a body of work called Variations on the Annunciation.” While in Italy, he also produced a series of paintings, inspired by Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love. The current exhibition features paintings from both Sacred and Profane and The Annunciation series exhibited for the first time.


James Hayward was born in San Francisco, California in 1943. He received his M.F.A. at the University of Washington in 1972. Hayward has been teaching painting at various colleges since the late 60s and currently advises graduate students at the Art Center College of Design. The artist lives and works on his ranch in Moorpark, California.


James Hayward has been the recipient of a Japan-United States Creative Arts Fellowship, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial fellowship, an Awards in the Visual Art Grants, a National Endowment for the Arts, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Hayward has exhibited widely with one-person shows at historically significant galleries, such as Sidney Janis, Claire Copley, Riko Mizuno and Rosumund Felsen, among others. Recent group shows include “Under the Big Black Sun” curated by Paul Schimmel at MOCA, Los Angeles in 2011 and “100 Artists See God” co-curated by Meg Cranston and John Baldessari at the Institute for Contemporary Art, London in 2004. Hayward’s exhibitions have been reviewed several times in ArtForum, LA Times, Art in America, among many other publications.


Hayward’s paintings are in prominent museum collections, such as, MOCA, Los Angeles; SFMOMA San Francisco; LACMA, Los Angeles; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland; Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo; San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose; Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, Minneapolis; Denver Museum of Modern Art, Denver; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach; Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Laguna Beach; Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami Beach; Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University, Malibu among others.