EALY MAYS

 
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BIOGRAPHY

EALY MAYS (b.1959) Hailed as one of the most outstanding African-American artists of his generation, Ealy Mays is a painter’s painter who believes art should be accessible to all. Born in 1959, in Witichita Falls, TX, today, the Paris-based artist creates action packed paintings, which animate history in a visual language all his own. Like painted tapestries, Mays’s meticulously detailed canvasses brim with narrative symbolism, weaving together the various political events, technological developments, and cultural attitudes, which have produced the scene depicted.

An artist born into a family of doctors, as a young man Mays was encouraged to attend medical school. After graduating from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas with a BSc. in Chemistry and Biology, Mays moved to Mexico, where he set out to pursue painting while attending the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine. In Guadalajara, he quickly discovered the local art scene and met such celebrated artists as RUFINO TAMAYO who would later become his mentor.

Upon his return to the United States, Mays was accepted for a residency at the prestigious SKOWHEGAN SCHOOL of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Colleagues in residence included fellow artist ANISH KAPOOR, GARY HILL, NAN GOLDIN, and JACOB LAWRENCE, the most widely acclaimed African-American artist of the twentieth century. LAWRENCE became both friend and mentor, describing MAYS in a letter of reference to the Studio Museum in Harlem, as a “pure painter”, emphasizing his natural talent and his audacity in never following the crowd.

(above) DETAIL, Ealy Mays,  Polkadotta Blue Watermelon Hunters

(above) DETAIL, Ealy Mays, Polkadotta Blue Watermelon Hunters

In search of “an intellectual environment to think, to breathe, and to paint,” in the late 1990s, Mays moved to Paris, where he was quickly invited as a permanent recurring resident at Cité Internationale des Arts.  As he continued exhibiting in the USA and  Europe, international recognition of Mays’s work reached new heights. In both 2005 and in 2007, the artist’s series The Migration of the Superheroes was showcased at the Carrousel du Louvre, making Mays the second African-American artist (their first was Henry Ossawa Tanner in 1897) to have an exhibit in the modern gallery of the great museum. His 2018 retrospective at ABXY Gallery marked the the artist’s return to New York City. After showing internationally for nearly ten years, it was Mays’ first exhibition in Manhattan since 2008,  when a collection of his precious works were stolen from and put up for sale on the black market.

He has exhibited in such distinguished institutions as The Guggenheim Museum, (New York), the Louvre (Paris), Hammonds House (Atlanta), Galeria Clava (Mexico), and many more. His work is included in such prestigious collections as The Joyner Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art, the collection of Larry and Brenda Thompson, as well as those of Reggie Van Lee, and George N’namdi.

 Artist ig: @ealy_mays_atelier

 

EDUCATION/ STUDIES/ RESIDENCIES

 

1996 - Resident artist and sculpture, Skowhegan School, Maine

1986-1992 - Medical diploma, University of Autonoma, Guadalajara, Mexico

1981 - Bsc. Chemistry and Biology, Wiley College, Marshall Texas

1977 - High School diploma, Fairview High, Dayton Ohio

1976 - Art Certificate (design) University of Dayton, Ohio

1972 - Art Certificate, Center for Live Arts, Dayton, Ohio

1971 - Student of Mary Frek on American Natural Paintings


Exhibition History

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FRANCE

2012 

Péniche Juju, Paris France – Individual Exhibition: ”Dissection of Aunt Gemima”

Galerie John Ferrere, rue Dauphine, Paris France - Collective Exhibition

Residency, Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France

 

2011 

Dorothy’s Gallery, Paris, France- Collective Exhibition: “Paris Texas - Culture Shock”

 

2010

Mona Lisait Library, Paris France – Individual Exhibition: “Yellow Mona Lisa” 

 

2009 

Residency, Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France

Quai 21 Gallery, Paris France -  Individual Exhibition: ”Dead Mexican Series”

Gallery Jardin d’Acclimatation, Paris France – Collective Exhibition

 

2008 

Dorothy’s Gallery, Paris France – American Appreciation Month Collective Exhibition: “Submarine Series”

Interviewed by France’s largest two newspapers: Le Monde, Le Figaro

Palais Royal, Paris France – Collective Exhibition

Black Essence Exhibition – Paris France

Mona Lisait Library, Paris France – Individual Exhibition

Residency, Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France – Individual Exhibition

 

2007

Carrousel du Louvre, Paris, France - Individual Exhibition

Residence, Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France – Individual Exhibition:

“Submarine Series”

 

2006

Espace Saint-Sauveur, Hopital Corentin Celton, 92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux – Black History Month Collective Exhibition (with Joseph Langley)

Les Fous de l’ile, (Colonne Morris et Metro), Paris, France – Individual Exhibition

Galerie Volta, Paris France – Individual Exhibition

 

2005

Carrousel du Louvre, Salle Le Nôtre, Paris, France - Individual Exhibit: “Migration of the Superheroes”

 

2004

Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France - Collective Exhibition

AGICA Company Headquarters, Paris, France – Individual Exhibition

 

2002

Residency, Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France – Collective Exhibition

 

2001     

Galerie Artitude, Paris, France – Individual Exhibition

Galerie Loulo, Uzes, France – Individual Exhibition: “Bullfighting and Flamenco”

Residency, Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France

Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France - Collective Exhibition

Galerie SUD, rue de Charonne, Paris France - Individual Exhibition

 

1999     

Haynes Restaurant, Paris, France – Individual Exhibit: “Homage to American Jazz in Paris”

Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France - Collective Exhibition

Paris Stock Exchange Studio Place, Paris, France – Individual Exhibition

Notre-Dame de Lorette, Paris, France: Individual Exhibit

 

1998     

Residency, Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France

 

1997     

Les Fous de l’ile, Paris, France – Individual ExhibitioN

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USA

2019

ABXY Beach, Group Exhibition | Haven | Montauk, NY

2017

Retrospective, ABXY Gallery, Lower East Side

2013

Retrospective, New York, N.Y

2012

Rice University, Houston TX: Art Conference / Speaking Engagements

University of Houston, Houston TX: Art Conference / Speaking Engagements

2011

University of Georgia Museum: Art Conference / Speaking Engagement / Individual Exhibition, “Tradition Re-defined” (Larry and Brenda Thompson collection)

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL – 200 Years of African American Art Retrospective: “The Last Vernissage”

 

2010

Fortissimo Gallery, New York, NY – Individual Exhibition: From Here to There – Retrospective of 30 years of Ealy Mays Artwork

Golf Coast Art Festival, Mobile, Alabama – Collective Exhibition

National Black & Hispanic Journalist, Atlanta Georgia – Individual Exhibition

Hamonds Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia – Collective Exhibition: African American Art Collection

University of Florida – 200 Years of African American Art Retrospective: Tradition Re-defined (Larry and Brenda Thompson collection)

University of Maryland College Park, David C. Driskell Center –  Collective Exhibition: Tradition Re-defined (Larry and Brenda Thompson collection)

 

2009

Hamonds Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia – Collective Exhibition: African American Art Collection

Jacob Javitz Center , New York, NY – Collective Exhibition

University of Texas Southern, Houston, TX – Collective Exhibition: Tradition Re-defined

 

2008

University of Maryland College Park, David C. Driskell Center –  Collective Exhibition: Tradition Re-defined (Larry and Brenda Thompson collection)

Upstairs Gallery, Chicago IL – Collective Exhibition

 

2007

Sinclair’s Gallery New York, NY – Collective Exhibition (Paul Sinclair’s collection)

Polk Fine Arts, New York, NY – Individual Exhibition

 

2006

Art Cultural Center, Marshal TX – Individual Exhibition: From Paris Texas to Paris France

Hamman Gallery, Atlanta GA – Collective Exhibition

 

2003

New York Times National Black Fine Art Exhibition, New York, NY – Individual Exhibition

Hatch Billops Collection, New York, NY – Collective Exhibition

Ed Clark Studio Gallery, New York, NY – Collective Exhibition with Ed Clark

 

2002

New York Times National Black Fine Art Exhibition, New York, NY: Individual Exhibition

Hatch Billops Collection, New York, NY – Collective Exhibition

Ed Clark Studio Gallery, New York, NY – Collective Exhibition with Ed Clark

Color Purple Exhibition, Dayton, OH – Individual Collection

Cobb Gallery, Los Angeles CA – Individual Exhibition

 

2000

Black Creativity Contest, Chicago IL – Individual Exhibition: In search of Spartacus

 

1998

Spice Caribbean Gallery, Berkeley CA – Individual Exhibition:

Gallery David Beitzel, New York, NY – Individual Exhibition

 

1997

Lycee Franco-American of East Bay, Berkeley, CA – Individual Exhibition: Three Legendary Cowboys

African American Exposition, Liwa OH (sponsored by the African American Museum of Wilberforce OH) – Individual Exhibition

 

1996

Guggenheim Museum & Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY – Slide Projection by the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture:  Caribbean Rhythm

 

1995

Science & Industry Exhibit, Chicago, IL – Individual Exhibition: Caribbean Rhythm

 

1994

Indiana Black Art Exhibit, IN – Individual Exhibition

1993

Dayton Art Exhibition, Dayton OH – Individual Exhibition: Indigent Woman: Do Not Eat the Fruit of The Apple

1991

Liberation of African American Arts Celebration, Malxcom X Park, Washington DC – Collective Exhibition: Caribbean Paintings

 

1980

Wiley College Art Expo, Marshal TX – Individual Exhibition

 

1978

Black Expo, TX – Individual Exposition (Acrylic): Seascapes / Seaside

Wiley College Art Expo, Marshal TX – Individual Exhibition – varied paintings

 

1976

Governor’s Exhibit, Dayton, OH – Individual Exhibition (Acrylic): The Spirit of 76

 

1974

Fairview Exhibit, Dayton, OH – Individual Exhibition (Paper Colors): Bouquet of Water Lillies

 

1973

Fairview Exhibit, Dayton, OH – Individual Exhibition (Acrylic): Conquistadors on Horseback

 

1972

Governor’s Exhibit, Dayton, OH – Individual Exhibition (Acrylic): Venetian Landscape

 

Outside the US and France:

 

AUSTRIA

2012

Gallerie Benedict, Vienna, Austria – Collective Exhibition: 15 varied paintings | Curator: Mickla Moore

 

ITALY

2000

Palazzo Barbarigio, Venice, Italy: Individual Exhibition

 

MEXICO

1994

Jose Clemente Orosco, Mexico City, Mexico – Individual Exhibition: War Bus

American School, Guadalajara, Cancun, & Monterey, Mexico – Individual Exhibition: War Bus

Jose Clemente Orosco, Acapulco, Morelia, Aguascalientes, Tepic, Zicatecas, Guadalajara, & Zapopan, Mexico – Individual Exhibition: War Bus

 

1993

October Art Fair, Guadalajara, Mexico – Individual Exhibition: Last Train to Chihuahua

 

1992

American Day Celebration, Guadalajara, Mexico – Individual Exhibition: Last Train to Chihuahua

 

1991

Tercer Luger October Show, Guadalajara ICC, – Individual Exhibition: Last Train to Chihuahua

Clave Gallery, Guadalajara Mexico, – Individual Exhibition: Woman in Blue

 

1990

American School, Guadalajara, Mexico – Individual Exhibition: Games for Dead Flesh

 

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