Max Hayslette was born in Rupert, West Virginia, in 1930. He completed his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1952, where he studied with Alexander Archipenko and Egon Weiner.
Max considers himself a romantic artist, one who seeks to give his work a warm and gentle, spiritual quality. His dreamy landscapes evoke sentiments of warmth, comfort and familiarity as they transport the viewer to numerous exotic destinations in the far corners of the world.
Mr. Hayslette likes to work on-site for his paintings whenever possible. He takes photos, tenders sketches and creates color notes. He takes particular care in recording atmospheric color temperatures. Mr. Hayslette feels that different areas of the world have very distinct color temperatures.
Mr. Hayslette’s quest to see the landscape as a flat composition of light and dark stems from his love of Asian woodcuts. He believes that the Asian artist is able to reduce a subject to its simplest abstract form. His strongest attribute as a painter is his ability to see the abstract in his subject. The skeleton of each of his paintings is black and white, two-dimensional abstracts. This gives him the composition, the weights and balances on which he later hangs the more traditional elements of the subject. After the composition is formed and the painting divided into its planes, foreground, middle ground and background, then a color palette is considered that will further enhance the storytelling of the painting.
Mr. Hayslette lists Franz Kline and Richard Diebenkorn as two artists he admires. He sees Diebenkorn’s paintings as abstracted landscapes, flat design rendered on several planes, with strong Asian influences. He studied and admired great works of Asian masters in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Kyoto. The artist has been greatly influenced by these travels.
Hayslette is represented in over 300 private, corporate, and public collections, most notably The Rockefeller Foundations, Stanford University, and Wells Fargo Bank , West Virginia Museum of Art, University of Charleston, The Huntington Gallery, West Virginia University, Jerry West and many others.
A very abridged list of his exhibitions includes: Art Institute of Chicago, SeattleArt Museum, The Feragil Gallery of New York City, The Findlay Gallery of Chicago, Christopher Clark Gallery of San Francisco, Ken Behm Gallery of Seattle, and Hanson Gallery of Carmel, Cooper Gallery, Lewisburg, WV.