With gratitude and appreciation, Blum & Poe pays homage to Wendell Dayton (b. 1938; d. 2019).
Living in a series of lofts in 1960s New York City, Dayton began his journey as an artist, meeting and working alongside protagonists associated with the Park Place Group, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop, and drawing inspiration from the vibrant avant-garde jazz scene. Beginning with painting and street rubbings, he soon graduated to larger constructions, eventually incorporating welding and materials such as steel, painted wood, and found items. In 1972 he relocated to Los Angeles, and unbound by urban constraints, the scale of his work began to take on new heights.
Blum & Poe proudly shared a survey exhibition of his work with the Los Angeles community in 2018 – his first major solo show in his 80 years on this earth. Shapes cut from steel, spliced curling metal pipes, and the parts of a dismembered drill press met in totemic compositions, effortlessly rising from the ground toward the sky. Dayton transmuted these crude mediums into graceful abstracted forms, welded gestures representing the birth of a child, lovers lost, and the celestial bodies above. We celebrate the legacy of this life-long sculptor, husband, and father.