Olive Ayhens at Frederieke Taylor Gallery

“Deep Time/Malta” by Olive Ayhens Courtesy of the artist and Frederieke Taylor Gallery, NYCOlive Ayhens, Deep Time/Malta, oil on canvas; courtesy Frederieke Taylor Gallery

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Eccentricity propelled by visionary force goes some way in explaining Olive Ayhens’s oddball exegeses on the confluence of encroaching architecture and nature’s beneficence. A painting of gargantuan frogs inhabiting a glass-box high rise or of notable edifices (including the Empire State Building) blithely ensconced in a mountain landscape hint at eco-political portent, but Ayhens’ sense of caprice is too deep-seated and wide-ranging to settle for ax-grinding.  Instead, she yokes the picturesque to uncanny effect, all the while channeling Florine Stettheimer’s synthesis of abiding sophistication and heartfelt naiveté.

© 2009 Mario Naves

Originally published in the November 18, 2009 edition of City Arts.


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