The Purchase College School of Art+Design presents a series of Visiting Artist lectures in April. Painter Olive Ayhens will discuss her work on April 9. Sculptor Mel Kendrick will speak on April 16. Sculptor Nancy Shaver will talk about her work on April 23. Painter Natasha Sweeten will make her presentation on April 30. The lectures all begin at 6:30 PM and are held in Room 1016 of the Art+Design Building. They are free and open to the public. For more information, call 914-251-6750.
Purchase College, State University of New York, is located at 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, N.Y.
Olive Ayhens’ paintings and drawings depict architectural environments that seem to buckle and twist under the weight of their own complexity. Largely based on sweeping views of New York City and other places where she has lived, Ayhens’ work combines an almost pseudo-scientific analysis of her sources with an intuitive use of gesture, color and invention. The result is painting that is simultaneously rigorous and frenetic. Her more recent work has addressed massive urban interiors. A Brooklyn-based artist, she has received several awards and grants including the 2006 Guggenheim Award.
Mel Kendrick’s abstract sculptures draw in the viewer with their dynamic formal quality, subsequently revealing layers of meaning related to process and material. Typically beginning with raw or processed wood, Kendrick continually refigures his initial compositions, disassembling, adding new materials, often recasting forms in a different substance altogether. The resulting objects refer to their own making, not as a closed dialogue, but as a rich, physical history. Kendrick has been awarded several National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and his work can be seen in the National Gallery, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, among other major art institutions.
The materials Nancy Shaver uses to make her sculptures are typically unrefined, unassuming, and often used. Boxes, paper, fabric, house paint and scrap wood, among other things, are treated as precious beyond their usual associations, combined and modified with surprising sensitivity, and reconfigured to invite reverence and wonder. Shaver has had numerous solo exhibitions in New York City and Chicago, and has been included in group shows throughout the United States and France.
Natasha Sweeten makes abstract paintings and works on paper inspired by real objects in her environment. Working at a modest scale and employing a lucid visual language, Sweeten derives surprising complexity and nuance from seemingly simple compositions. Her richly layered imagery maintains an elusive connection to reality, while also being fully present in a universe defined solely by shape, color and surface. Her work has been shown widely in New York City and nationally.