Hammer Projects: Maya Hayuk

Hammer Projects: Maya Hayuk

With their symmetrical compositions, intricate patterns, and lush colors, Maya Hayuk’s paintings and massively scaled murals recall views of outer space, traditional Ukrainian crafts, airbrushed manicures, and mandalas. Hayuk weaves visual information from her immediate surroundings into her elaborate abstractions, creating an engaging mix of referents from popular culture and advanced painting practices while connecting to the ongoing pursuit of psychedelic experience in visual form. For her first one-person museum exhibition in the United States, she will make a new site-specific mural on the Lobby Wall.

Hammer Projects: Maya Hayuk is organized by Hammer assistant curator Corrina Peipon.




By Corrina Peipon

The process of painting an abstract, largely improvised mural is riddled with anxiety, the frisson of challenge and intense, protracted focus that ultimately turns a corner and becomes the pure joy of abandon. There is evidence of these psychological states in Maya Hayuk’s paintings: tight lines waver, betraying a sudden shock; diluted paint drips displaying a studied carelessness give way to languid washes of color; compact shapes in rigid geometries open out into free forms, following an invisible poetic logic. Control is visibly secured and eschewed in turn. Made in situ on deadline and fated either to be painted out after a few months or to live on in perpetuity, Hayuk’s murals are inherently risky business. The high stakes require consummate grace, but the circumstances contribute to the yield: the murals are vibrant imaginary landscapes that crackle with liveliness. 


Hammer Projects is a series of exhibitions focusing primarily on the work of emerging artists. 

Hammer Projects is made possible by a major gift from The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

Generous support is provided by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and Susan Bay Nimoy and Leonard Nimoy.

Additional support is provided by Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; the Decade Fund; and the David Teiger Curatorial Travel Fund.