Lori Bookstein Fine Art is pleased to present “Olive Ayhens: Electronic Labyrinth,” a selection of paintings and watercolors from 2005 through 2012.
Ayhens found inspiration for the works in “Electronic Labyrinth” while visiting a friend at a scientific laboratory, where a complex universe of wires, equipment and robots, framed within the setting of a mundane office environment, appeared to morph into an organism unto itself. Divorced from the scientific objectives of this unfamiliar world, Ayhens applied her distinct sense of color and space to highlight the seemingly endless chaos of the scenes before her. The artist, who has also put views of the National Parks and the urban landscape through this lens, continues to embrace a cheerful collision of external reality with interior vision.
In Ayhens’ exuberant worldview, lifeless cords and cables are infused with pulsating rhythms, while industrious scientists become peculiar, white-masked creatures. Floors turn up on themselves and function more like massive arterial highways than stable supports. Further upending any kind of conventional pictorial logic, Ayhens is unafraid to cast entire compositions in fantastically-colored glows, such as the intestinal pink and red hues of Computer Lab. Juxtaposing clinical microcosms with the organic world of the flesh, the painting leaves the viewer guessing at the order in this disorder. And are the inanimate objects, suddenly infused with life, animal or vegetal? Are we in it all or observing from above?
Underscoring these themes is Ayhens’ evident passion for the qualities of the paint itself. Incorporating drawn lines with loose washes and layers, she pushes color relationships and builds surprising perspectives. Ayhens’ mastery of her mediums heightens the intrinsic play of these invented worlds.
Ayhens has previously exhibited with Adam Baumgold Gallery, Frederieke Taylor Gallery, and D.C. Moore Gallery. Various awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award and Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Individual Support Grant. Artist residencies include The Walsh Sharp Art Foundation Space Program, Yaddo Artist Residency, MacDowell Colony, Fundacion Valparaiso and the Salzburg Kunsterhaus.
Ayhens received her BFA and MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She lives and works in New York City.
“Olive Ayhens: Electronic Labyrinth” will be on exhibit through March 24, 2012. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30 to 6. For more information or visual materials, please contact Joseph Bunge at email@example.com or call (212) 750-0949.