Wordsworth famously described poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” resulting from emotions “recollected in tranquility,” a process in which feelings are crucially modified and directed by thoughtful intentions, “organic sensibility,” and the discipline of craft — that is, a process of shaping and polishing, which Horace before him called limae labor et mora, the patient toil of the file.
The disciplined excellence of Ayott’s art is thrillingly accessible on these terms. Her intuitive and personal journaling process both provides a suggestive title and at a deeper level embeds emotion into her art, which we experience with immediacy because the language of abstraction is free of alienating specificity: Promise, Proof Enough, Come Spring— the suggestive power of these titles extends undiminished, because unqualified, into our personal geometries.
At the art surface, Ayott’s devoted study of aesthetic history and principles, and her months and years of meditative studio practice, applying the many tools of her mark making — brushes, boxtops, and rollers, if not files — give an authority, a complexity, and a rationality to her constructions, which allow them to become containers of emotion, encodings of the fragile data of shared experience.
Ayott’s paintings are beautiful, universal, and still personal, sharing “passions,” as Wordsworth prescribed for poems, “with an overbalance of pleasure.”
- Mathew Swift (Gallery Director)