Press Release

Olive Ayhens: Lettuce Lake
November 7, 2017 - January 6, 2018
Reception: Thursday, November 9th, 5:00 - 8:00 pm

Bookstein Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Olive Ayhens. This is the artist’s first solo-show with the gallery. This is Bookstein Projects’s inaugural exhibition at 60 East 66th Street.

This exhibition will feature recent paintings and works on paper created over the last three years. In this latest body of work, Ayhens paints urban, ecological and interior landscapes including a Florida swamp, the Brooklyn Public Library and  the Manhattan skyline as seen from the artist’s studio in Dumbo. While these locations are selected through passionate research, subliminal dwelling and observation, Ayhens often transforms them into fantastical landscapes all their own. Frequently, modern architecture, endangered species and natural disasters occupy a single composition. This cacophony of imagery is made all the more surreal by a palette of super-saturated colors and undulating planes of space.

This latest body of work also highlights the artist’s continued interest in climate change and over-development. Ayhens often introduces these topics into her paintings as misplaced oddities in an otherwise wistful composition. In Lettuce Lake, for example, the marshy terrain of a Florida swampland is punctuated with both protected birds and deteriorating automobiles.In Oceanic Library, an endangered octopus creeps into the lower right corner of the composition. While it could easily pass for another piece of marble statuary in the library’s reading room, closer inspection reveals that perhaps the entire library may be  at risk of similar extinction. Water rises from the bottom of the picture plane as damp clouds descend on the stacks threatening to destroy the books and information they hold.

Olive Ayhens (b. Oakland, CA) received her BFA and MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. In addition to her extensive exhibition history, Ayhens has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Joan Mitchell Grant, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award and Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Individual Support Grant. Artist residencies include The Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program, MacDowell Colony, Fundacion Valparaiso, the Salzburg Kunsterhaus, Yaddo Artist Residency, Djerassi Artist Residency, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Roswell Artist Residency, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and a residency at the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program in 2017. The artist lives and works in New York City.

Olive Ayhens: Lettuce Lake will be on view from November 7, 2017 – January 6, 2018. A reception will be held on Thursday, November 9th from 5:00-8:00pm. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. For additional information and/or visual materials, please contact the gallery at (212) 750-0949 or by email at