top of page
Jaff_Blow_2014__hand cut paper_37 x 25.75 x 1.50 in.jpg

April 7 - May 2, 2023

Opening Reception: Friday, April 7, 6-8 pm

 Charles Birnbaum, Sue Carlson, the Estate of David Hayes, Tayo Heuser, and Liz Jaff

Circles and Ellipses

37-39 Clinton St NEW YORK


New York, NY-  Space 776 is pleased to present Circles and Ellipses - a five-person exhibition masterfully curated by Ellen Hackl Fagan (Artist, Curator, and Founder of ODETTA gallery). Featuring artists: Charles Birnbaum, Sue Carlson, the Estate of David Hayes, Tayo Heuser, and Liz Jaff. The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of artist Jane Harris, whose focus on circles and ellipses inspired this exhibition.


The five artists in this exhibition have spent much of their careers focused on the most primal forms of design, the circle, and the ellipse. These archetypes can be found in human art forms across the planet, and throughout our time as humans, even before the Neanderthals. From inscribed lines cut into the stone, minerals smudged and painted on earthen walls, tools, dwellings, and on, and on, these two forms create the subject, from which innumerable meanings and uses spring forth.


This is but a small glimpse of the many artists making artwork today who also focus on these simple, yet expansive forms. While sharing a similar source the final images and objects created are as unique as the individual creators themselves. The unifying element for this exhibition is their shared instinct to employ a reductive, yet rigorous focus.


Ranging from minute intricate details to upscaled objects and sculptures in steel, these artists fluidly transition between the ephemeral and the permanent.


The Estate of David Hayes is part of the exhibition with works in painted steel as well as plaster over styrofoam studies, which scale up from small works to mid-size. The styrofoam studies were housed safely on the artist’s Coventry, CT farmhouse, never before exhibited, for over fifty years. Like eggs in an incubator, when the artist’s son, David Hayes, Jr. opened the old studio door, they immediately brought Brancusi’s studio in Paris at the Pompidou Center to mind for the curator. The exhibition re-creates a small vignette of the interior of the studio, utilizing shelving from the barn/studio, and stacking the sculptures like they are in situ.





Liz Jaff is a visual artist who lives and works in New York City. Her work includes installations, objects, and works on and off the paper which use formalist structures, patterns, and repetition to talk about impermanence and permanence, perceptions of time, and the role of memory in shaping experience.  Poetry, storytelling, performance, and diaspora culture, particularly Flamenco, are important influences. She received her BFA in painting from The Rhode Island School of Design and has exhibited nationally and internationally, including at Widmer Theodoridis Gallery, Switzerland, The Art Complex Center, Tokyo, Rochester Contemporary Arts Center, And Hubweek, the annual innovation festival founded by The Boston Globe, Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and MIT.

Sue Carlson (b Minneapolis MN) She earned a BA in classical music from a joint program with Case Western Reserve University/ The Cleveland Institute of Music and an MFA in visual art from Cal-Arts. In 1982 she moved to New York City where she continues to live and work. In New York City she had her first solo show at White Columns in 1987 and has exhibited at Rose Burlingham Gallery and Lindsey Brown Gallery.  From 2006-2009 she collaborated with artists in Florence, Italy through ArtSEEN magazine where she was a contributing writer and participated in exhibitions in Florence, Bologna, and Sardinia. In 2020 she was an artist in residence at Chiassio Perduto in Florence, exhibiting in collaboration with sound artists. She has traveled extensively in Scandinavia and has done research on ancient rune and picture stones in Sweden and Denmark as well as 19th-century nordic landscape painting.  In 2022 she was an artist in residence at SIM residency in Reykjavik, Iceland, and will participate in a runic research project in Denmark in August 2023.  


Tayo Heuser (b.Washington D.C.) was raised in North, East, and West Africa. She returned to the United States to attend college at the Rhode Island School of Design. Heuser has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally including, the Phillips Collection Museum, Washington D.C., the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University, the University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach, the Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, the Weatherspoon Museum, University of North Carolina in Greensboro, the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NYC, the Chateau de Fernelmont in Belgium, the Center for Non-Objective Art, Brussels, Belgium, H29 Gallery, Brussels, Belgium, the Exhibition Gallery at Roger Williams University Bristol, R.I., the Dorsky Gallery in Brooklyn, N.Y., Margarete Roeder Gallery, NYC, Josée Bienvenue Gallery in NYC, the Newport Art Museum, Newport R.I., Cade Tompkins Projects, Providence R.I., the Chazan Gallery Providence, R.I., the Cynthia Reeves Galley in Hanover N.H., the Deedee Shattuck gallery in Westport Mass., the Bristol Art Museum in Bristol, R.I., amongst others. Heuser’s work is in the collections of the Phillips Collection Museum, Washington D.C., the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CA., the Rhode Island School of Museum, Providence, R.I., the Weatherspoon Museum, Greensboro, N.C., Brown University David Winton Bell Gallery, Providence, R.I., the American Embassy in Jeddha, Saudi Arabia, the Leeds Foundation in Philadelphia, Pa., the Werner Kramarsky Collection in NYC, the Progressive Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio, Fidelity Investments in Smithfield, R.I., Duke Energy in Raleigh, North Carolina, Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI, amongst many other public and private collections. 

Charles Birnbaum is a sculptor and a self-taught photographer. He graduated from Kansas City Art Institute where he studied ceramics and was one of a select group of the esteemed Ken Ferguson’s “ceramic stars.” Charles’s early work questioned the cultural premises and constraints of “craft” by producing postmodern interpretations of ancient European and Asian forms. After doing graduate work at Tyler School of Art, he began sealing, altering, and re-contextualizing vessel forms and then began creating abstract porcelain sculptures. He lives and works in New York City. He has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the U.S. and abroad and they are in multiple private collections, including those of the design world luminary Hilda Longinotti, Ronald Kuchta, the renowned former Director of the Everson Museum of Arts and editor of American Ceramics, Jack Lenor Larsen's Longhouse Reserve, the Kapfenberg Cultural Center of Austria, and the Museum of Modern Ceramic Art in Mino, Japan. 

David Vincent Hayes (March 15, 1931 – April 9, 2013) was an American sculptor. Hayes received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1953, and an M.F.A. degree from Indiana University in 1955 where he studied with David Smith. He received a post-doctoral Fulbright Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He was a recipient of the Logan Medal of the Arts for Sculpture and an award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. During his life, he had over 400 exhibitions and his work is included in some 100 institutional collections including those of the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. In 2007, he was conferred an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Albertus Magnus College. Hayes resided in Coventry, Connecticut, where he had 54 acres of land to exhibit his works on the grounds of the David Hayes Sculpture Fields, an open-air art museum open to the public. He died of leukemia at his home there on April 9, 2013. He was 82. In 2021, Hayes' work and grounds were the subjects of an hour-long television broadcast shown on some 200 PBS stations nationwide produced by Legacy List with Matt Paxton.

Jane Harris’ rigorous drawings combine a satisfying game of variations on elliptical forms, B pencils, a t