Brian Gayman, 1948-2014


Brian Gayman, 65, died July 1 in Melville, N.Y., after complications following a heart attack. Gayman had been exhibiting sculpture and photography in New York City and elsewhere since the early 1970s. In 2007, he garnered the attention of the New York Times for designing and constructing a Modernist style home for himself and his wife Bonnie Rychlak, a fellow artist and Noguchi Foundation curator, in Springs, N.Y. That area of Long Island is known for Abstract Expressionist residents like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.

In 1995, he and Rychlak bought a lot in Springs that would become their home. After five years of planning and four years of construction, Gayman realized a rectangular 30-by-60-square-foot house in a style inspired by the Southern California modernism he and Rychlak knew from their youth.

A native of North Hollywood, Calif., Gayman received his BA from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his MFA from Yale University. His work was first shown in New York City in 1975 at 112 Greene Street, an early alternative, artist-run venue. Gayman went on to exhibit his abstract sculptures in group shows at alternative spaces in New York, including Kenkeleba Gallery, 1984; White Columns, 1987; American Fine Arts, 1987-1988; Lorence Monk Gallery, 1987, and at Ace Gallery in Los Angeles in 1988.

In recent years, Gayman created artwork under the name Brian Gaman after finding out that the spelling had previously been changed. His work has been shown in exhibitions in New York and the Hamptons, at venues including Momenta Art (2011) and Studio 10 (2013) in Brooklyn, and Longhouse Reserve, in East Hampton (2011). Last year, artist Keith Sonnier chose Gayman’s photography for the 2013 Artists Choose Artists show at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, N.Y. Most recently, his work was shown in “Redacted” at the Islip Art Museum, on Long Island in New York.