Labor Day is behind us and school is in session, which means there are gallery shows galore opening this month. If you’re in New York and looking for an anecdote to all of the 9/11-themed shows currently on view, you should check out Olive Ayhens show “New York Drawings” at Adam Baumgold Gallery on the Upper East Side.
Ayhens’ neo-expressionist pen and ink and watercolor drawings are a knock-out: textured, original, and deliberately unruly. Working on location, Ayhens draws the lively center of New York City, personifying its skyscrapers in a style that is vigorous and playful, as well as idiosyncratic.
In her newest series of stylized cityscapes, Ayhens combines fine ink lines with layered areas of watercolor. By incorporating multiple focal points into her images, she suspends viewers high above the topsy-turvy, urban landscape.
Included in the Adam Baumgold exhibition are views showing the September 11 Monument in the process of construction. These two drawings show different phases of the process of building the memorial. Lower Manhattan has played a special role in Ayhens’ art work over the years. In 1999 she received a World Views residency at the former World Trade Center through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. “The experience of observing New York City from a highly elevated viewpoint,” Ayhens explains, was “similar to studying an organism under a microscope.”
Olive Ayhens has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Pollack-Krasner Awards, and the Adolph and Ester Gottlieb Foundation individual support grant. Her work has been published in Harper’s Magazine and is included in numerous public and private collections. She has also been an artist in residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ucross, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Blue Mountain Center, and the Millay Colony.
Olive Ayhens show “New York Drawings” is on view at the Adam Baumgold Gallery now through October 8th. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11:00 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. An online preview of the exhibition can be seen at the Adam Baumgold Gallery wesbite. You can learn more about Ayhens work here.
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