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Acclaimed Artist John Day’s Work Comes Home to Malden

Following a successful solo show in Geneva, Switzerland, the work of Malden born artist John Day comes to the Malden Public Library’s Converse Galleries for a month long exhibition: John Day: A Glimpse of Color.

John Day was born in Malden on May 27, 1932 and sold his first painting at the age of fifteen.  His father was an anesthesiologist and his mother was a classical pianist and music teacher. After graduating from Malden High School (class of 1949) where he had already exhibited his talent for, and commitment to, painting, he spent a year at Syracuse University‘s School of Art, before transferring  to Yale University’s School of Art & Architecture. During his years at Yale, he studied with legendary teacher and color theorist Josef Albers. In 1970 he became a Professor of Art at William Paterson College in New Jersey.

Over the next three decades, Day tested and explored a number of different artistic styles, ranging from impressionistic landscapes, to collages, to precisely-blended color meditations.  Many of his early collages were torn-paper landscapes that reference the work of the nouveau réalistes such as Raymond Hains from the 1960’s. His surrealist “Erebos” series illustrates his interest in the art and life of Ancient Greece. The abstract paintings from the last phase of his life evoke the spiritual intensity of Mark Rothko’s work. John Day won recognition with numerous awards, prizes and grants including stays at Yaddo and the McDowell Colony, an Ingram Merrill Foundation grant, numerous first prizes at judged exhibitions.  From 1961 through 1984, he had an annual one-man exhibitions at galleries in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Paris. He was also included in numerous group exhibitions, including those at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum in New York City; the American Embassy in London; the Musée Pompidou, the Foundation Maeght, and Marseilles’ Musée Cantini in France; the Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton, New York; the Montclair Museum in New Jersey; the Harmon Gallery in Naples, Florida.  He continued his devotion to serious art until his death in New York City on April 15, 1982, one of the early victims of the AIDS epidemic.

His paintings are found in the collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum, the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Musée Pompidou in Paris, and in corporate collections around the world.

Until November 15, gallery hours are Wednesday and Saturdays 2-4 and by appointment.  Due to Covid limits, please contact the Library at info@maldenpubliclibrary.org or by phone at 781-324-0218 to schedule an individual or group visit.