Michael Hayden (artist)

Michael Hayden (artist)
Photograph of a long tunnel illuminated by neon lighting in the ceiling and by glowing, colorful wall panels. The tunnel is about 10 meters (33 feet) wide, and there are four moving walkways in the center of the tunnel. There are several people on each walkway; far down the tunnel there are some staircases leading up.
A subterranean walkway at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is illuminated by Hayden's neon installation (Sky's the Limit, 1987).[1] The walkway is part of the United Airlines terminal that was designed by Helmut Jahn, and which has been listed as one of America's 150 favorite structures by the American Institute of Architects.

Michael Hayden (b. January 15, 1943) is a Canadian artist who is noted for his artworks incorporating neon lighting.[2][3] His best-known commission is probably Sky's the Limit (1987), which is a very large installation within the Chicago International Airport (see photograph).[1][4] Other prominent commissions include Arc en Ciel (1978),[5] which was formerly installed at the Yorkdale subway station in Toronto, and Quadrille (1996),[6] which is installed on a building in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Hayden's work is in the public collections of many museums, including the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, and the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Holland.[2]


  1. ^ a b Stern, Rudi (1990). Contemporary Neon. Retail Reporting Corp.. ISBN 9780934590372. "California artist Michael Hayden was selected to design a lighting sculpture synchronized with music and orchestrated with architecture. Hayden's solution, Sky's the Limit, uses 466 neon tubes and extends 744 feet." 
  2. ^ a b "Michael Hayden Resume". Thinking Lightly, Inc.. http://www.thinkinglightly.com/hayden/resume.html. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  3. ^ Coupe, Alison (2010). Michelin Green Guide: Canada. Michelin. p. 56. ISBN 9781906261757. http://books.google.com/books?id=uVyYI7hGesQC&pg=PA56. 
  4. ^ Miles, Malcolm (1997). Art, Space, and the City: Public Art and Urban Futures. Psychology Press. p. 135. ISBN 9780415139434. http://books.google.com/books?id=tnHqG-Jkep0C&pg=PA135. "Among the most ambitious examples of airport art are Michael Hayden's Sky's the Limit at Chicago's United Airlines terminal..." 
  5. ^ Barr, Vilma (1992). The Best of Neon: Architecture, Interiors, Signs. Rockport Allworth Editions. p. 19. ISBN 9780935603606. "A spectacular display of rainbow colors is produced by neon tubes in the skylight from an electronic sculpture called "Arc en ciel" by artist Michael Hayden." 
  6. ^ Clinard, Leigh Pressley; Distl, Craig (2009). Insiders' Guide to Charlotte: 11th Edition. Globe Pequot. p. 159. ISBN 9780762753123. 

Further reading

  • Schiess, Christian (1994). The Light Artist Anthology: Neon and Related Media. ST Media Group International. ISBN 9780944094006.  This book includes photographs of Hayden's works and an interview with Hayden.