Olive Ayhens

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Amphibian Emergency, 2008 Oil On Canvas 81"X62" © Olive Ayhens
Yellowstone, 1994 Oil On Canvas 36" X 50" © Olive Ayhens
Unaccustomed to Winter, 1990 Oil On Canvas 41" X 56" © Olive Ayhens
Arches, 1974 Watercolor 22" X 30" © Olive Ayhens
Floating to Extremes, 1993 Oil On Canvas 58" X 64" © Olive Ayhens
Rapid Commute, 1996-97 Oil On Canvas 51" X 62" © Olive Ayhens
The Streams Return, 1997 Oil On Canvas 48" X 60" © Olive Ayhens
Computer Lab, 2005-06 Oil On Linen 52" X 61" © Olive Ayhens
Genome Lab, 2007 Oil On Canvas 28" X 40" © Olive Ayhens
Lamb, 2006 Oil On Canvas 56" X 60" © Olive Ayhens
From the Underground, 2001 Oil On Linen 35"X52" © Olive Ayhens
Crashing the Canyon, 2003 Oil On Canvas 59" X 75" © Olive Ayhens
From the Balcony, 2008 Ink And Watercolor 12"X16" © Olive Ayhens
Manhattan Rooftops, 1999-2000 Oil On Canvas 48" X 60" © Olive Ayhens
Cat in the Night, 1999 Oil On Canvas 48" X 58" © Olive Ayhens
The Lab, 2008 Ink And Watercolor On Paper 30 X 22 Inches © Lori Bookstein Fine Art
Quick Facts
Oakland, California
Lives in
Works in
Representing galleries

"My work is much involved with my love of the paint itself — with layering it, with building textures, etc. all this is striving for a sensual visual beauty. Color is my first language. I have fun with personification as well as improbabilities of scale. My work is heavily influenced thematically by my environment, both physical and spiritual.

I work in connected series of paintings. Past series have reflected a year I spent in Montana, as well as aspects of California urban/tensions. My move to NYC for the Marie Walsh Studio space inspired a series, I refer to as “The Aesthetics of Pollution.” This theme deals with confrontation of nature versus the urban assault, gridlock in streams and skyscrapers instead of cliffs on the sides, with extinct and endangered indigenous animals, with bison up against skyscrapers, etc., etc. I was a recipient of the World Views residency (studio space at the former World Trade Center). The paintings while in residence reflected the many fabric patterns of architecture and gridlock. The experience of observing NYC from a highly elevated viewpoint is similar to studying an organism under a microscope. My painting following my LMCC residency were involved with superimposing volcanic activity in the Hudson. This was a result of being from California and using volcanoes as a metaphor for the competitiveness of the Manhattan area. After 911 I put those paintings aside and focused on the luminosity of night light, movement of bridges, complicated spooky images under expressways and geysers on the roads. This brings up to my most recent work, which is involved with the themes of “Extreme Interiors.” I visited a computer lab and was excited by the complexity of overlapping wires, equipment, robots… I felt this is like my cityscapes a total living system.

Shortly after the lab inspiration I attended an artist residency in Spain. From this experience I was influenced by the masterpieces of Moorish architecture as well as Gaudi’s innovative work. Also, my piece “Lamb” was influenced by Francisco de Zurbaran. My painting depicts the good life, a lavish Manhattan rooftop scene (incorporating Moorish architecture) in juxtaposition to coffins of war dead and a sacrificial lamb on a couch. The painting suggests the pleasure of our lives in contrast to the suffering which always persists somewhere on our planet.

In my painting “Coliseum of Chaos” the source is several coliseums. I was listening to NPR news while working (car bombs, people killed here & there on & on) & thinking how wonderful that we humans can design such great structures but how tragic we can’t stop killing & torturing each other. I included that imagery within the Coliseum painting.

These interior themes can be very broad. The boundaries between inside and outside spaces become blurred with images intruding into and overlapping one another. I am continuing with paintings of landscape in interiors and landscape as architecture, it’s exciting where this is taking my work."



M.F.A. San Francisco Art Institute
B.F.A. San Francisco Art Institute


Ucross artist residency, 2003, 2010
Harpers magazine, reproduction, 2001, 2007, 2009, 2010
Whiskey Town artist residency, California 2007-2009
St. James Cavalier Center for Creativity Valletta, Malta, 2009
MacDowell Colony, residency, 1999, 2007
Guggenheim Fellow, 2006
Yaddo artist residency, 2006
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, 2001, 2006
Fundacion Valparaiso, artist residency, Spain, 2005
Salzburg Kunstlerhaus, Salzburg, Austria 2003
Saltonstall artist residency, 2003
Blue Mountain residency, 2002
The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, 1998, 2001
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, World Views Residency, 1999, catalog
Millay artist residency, 1998
Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program, 1996, catalog
Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation Individual Support Grant, 1996
Djerassi artists residency, Woodside, CA, 1994


2010 Frederieke Taylor, Anniversary Invitational
2010 The Nicolaysen Art Museum, "27 years of "Arts Residencies," Casper, WY
2010 Volta Art Fair, NYC
2009 Next Wave Art, Brooklyn Academy of Music, curated by Dan Cameron
2009 Frederieke Taylor Gallery, NYC, "Urban/Architecture", one person
2008 Lockhart Gallery, SUNY Geneseo, one person
2007 Frederieke Taylor Gallery, NYC, "Extreme Interiors", one person
2007 Mid-Manhattan Library,"Rivers of Light", one person
2006 Frederieke Taylor Gallery,"Undercurrent", group, NYC
2005 Watkins Gallery, American University, Washington, D.C. one person
2005 Lehman College, group, Bronx, NY
2004 American Academy Invitational Exhibition of Painting & Sculpture
2002-07 Adam Baumgold Gallery, NYC Drawing show, NYC, San Luis Obispo Art Center, Drawing, NY, S.F.L.A.
2002-03-04 Gary Tatintsian Gallery, NYC one person show, NYC
2002 Fordham University at Lincoln Center,, NYC
2002 Ace Gallery, Artist to Artist A Decade of the Space Program, NYC
2001 Pulp Fictions, Sonoma State University Art Gallery, Rohnert Park, CA
2000-05 Pierogi Gallery traveling shows (flat files), San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc
2000 "The Act of Drawing," Rush Art Gallery, NYC
1998 "Earth, Water, Air," D. C. Moore Gallery, NYC
1997 "Aerial Perspectives: Imagination, Reality and Abstraction" D. C. Moore
1996 Frederick Spratt Gallery, one person show, San Jose, CA
1995 Bucheon Gallery, one person show, San Francisco, CA
1994 Michael Himovits Gallery, one person show, Sacramento, CA
1994 Beall Park Art Center, one person show, Bozeman, MT
1993 Fifteen Year Celebration, San Francisco Museum of Modern Artist Gallery
1991 "Artists Views on Romance," Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art
1991 Spectrum, Michael Himovits Gallery, one person show, San Francisco, CA
1990 Lenore Gray Galley, one person show, Providence, RI
1989 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Artist Gallery, one person show
1988 Allegra Gallery, one person show, San Jose, CA
1987 California State University, Fresno, CA, one person show
1987 "Passages-California Women 1945-Present," Fresno Art Museum, Fresno,
1987-88 Pro Arts Annual, Oakland, CA
1986 "Crisis and Charisma," Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco
1985 Nelson Gallery, one person show, University of California, Davis
1986-84-72 Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA ("8 Women Artists, "X Rated," She")
1984 "Seven Narrative Painters," Mills College Art Gallery, Oakland, CA
1983 Pro Arts, one person show, Oakland, CA
1983 "Impolite Figure," Southern Exposure Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1982 "Watercolor," Joseph Chowing Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1981 "Pattern Painting," San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
1981 "Myths," Patrick Gallery, Austin, Texas
1981 "Narrative Painters," San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
1980 "San Francisco Art Institute Annual," Emmanuel Walter Gallery
1978 "Survey-Bay Area ," Mills College Art Gallery, Oakland, CA
1976 Central Washington State University, one person show, Ellensburg, WA
1975 "Survey Show," San Francisco Museum of Modern Art , San Francisco, CA
1973 The William Sawyer Gallery, one person show, San Francisco, CA
1973 "Women U. S. A., "Laguna Beach Art Museum, Laguna, CA
1972 San Francisco Art Institute, one person show, San Francisco, CA
1971-74 Emmanuel Walter Gallery,("Painting on Paper Show " Four Person Show") San Francisco, CA
1971 "Four Draftsman," Richmond Art Center, Richmond


2010 Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art, Britney, France
2010 Visiting artist, Green Mountain College, Vermont
2009-2010 Mass. College of Art, at Bennington
2008 Anderson Ranch arts center, summer workshop, oil painting
2007 Ox-Bow, Instructor, watercolor, Chicago Art Institute
2006 Ox-Bow, Visiting Artist, Chicago Art Institute
2004-O5 Assistant Professor, American University painting, studio experience, graduate drawing
2001-02 New School University, NYC, painting and drawing on site
2002 American University, Washington, D.C. working with graduate students
1999-00 Visiting Artist, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville; NY, watercolor
1996-97 Adjunct Lecturer, SUNY at New Paltz, NY; water media and drawing
1993-94 Assistant Professor, Montana State University; painting all levels, working w/graduate students drawing all levels
1993 Assistant Professor, San Jose State University; Painting and drawing
1991 Lecturer, Stanford University; drawing and working with graduate students
1989-90, 2010 Assistant Professor, Brown University, painting; drawing, studio practices
1987 Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin; painting and drawing
1984-85 Assistant Professor, University of California; Berkeley, painting, drawing
1982 Lecturer, Indian Valley College; drawing - all levels
1980-81 Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin; sophomore painting, advanced painting, advanced life drawing, life painting
1979 Visiting Artist, Illinois State University, Normal, IL; Lecturer, San Francisco State University; advanced painting
1978-79 Lecturer, California College of Arts and Crafts; watercolor, painting
1973 Lecturer, California College of Arts and Crafts; painting
1972-73 Lecturer, Weber State College


2010 Green Mountain College, Vermont
2009-2010 Mass. College of Art
2008 Anderson Ranch, CO
2008 Purchase College, State University of New York
2008 SUNY Geneseo, NY
2007 Artist Dialogue w/Mario Naves, Mid-Manhattan Public Library
2006,07 Ox-Bow, Summer Program of the Chicago Art Institute
2005 Adelphi University, Garden City, NY
2004 Maryville University, St. Louis, MO
2002 American University, Washington, D.C.
1999 Bradley University, Peoria, Il.
1996 Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY
1993,94 Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
1993 Chairperson of Panel, "Persistence of Vision", Women's Caucus for Art
1990 Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
1989,90,96,07 Brown University, Providence, RI
1987,86,80 University of Texas, Austin, TX
1986,79 California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA
1985 Fiber Works, Berkeley, CA University of California, Berkeley
1984 Mills College, Oakland, CA
1982,74 San Francisco Art Institute, Lecture and panel
1980 Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA
1979 San Francisco State University Illinois State University, Normal, IL
1975 Wenatchee Valley College, Wenatchee, WA
1972,73 Weber State College, Ogden, UT
1972 California State University at Fresno, Panel on Women Artists
1971 University of Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa


West Collection, Oaks, PA
Watkins Gallery, American University, WA, D.C.
Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA
Mills College, Oakland, CA
The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA
University of Northern Iowa


Brook Gladstone & Fred Kaplin, Brooklyn; Fredericke Taylor, NYC; Bruce Gladstone, Sherman Oaks, CA; David Rockefeller Jr., NY, NY Russell Moon, Dallas, TX; Vladimir Kerhman, Saint Petersburg, Russia; Swiss Re: Capital Partners, NYC; TW Trust, Dallas, TX; Adam Baumgold, NYC; Howie Kahn, Brooklyn,NY; Jack and Wiesje Van Hulst, CT; Adam & Ursule Wolski, Philadelphia, PA; Terry and Eva Herndon, Carlisle, MA; Charles Benenson, NYC; Berg, Zeigler, Lichtmans and Anderson, San Francisco, CA; Harbert International, San Francisco, CA; Saintsbury Winery, Napa, CA; Kohl Corp., San Francisco, CA; Jennifer and Thomas Armstrong, San Francisco, CA; Susan Platt, Seattle, WA; Junona and Bruce Jonas, San Francisco, CA; Eric Greenleaf, Berkeley, CA; Intercontinetal Pacific Group, San Francisco, CA; Broberk, Phleger and Harrison, San Francisco, CA; Regine Graves, Bordeaux, France Barbara Cohen, San Francisco, CA; Clare Isaacs, San Francisco, CA; Kevin Dugger, Santa Cruz, CA; Joe Doyle, San Francisco, CA; Marian Parmentor, Mill Valley, CA; Betsy & Mike Bolen, Town & Country, MO; Gary Tatintsian, Moscow, Russia

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