ayton.net -- William T. Ayton online gallery / portfolio
William T. Ayton - photo by Phil Zemke
Photo by Phil Zemke, Upstate NY, 2008.
William T. Ayton - photo by Diana Ayton-Shenker
Photo by Diana Ayton-Shenker. Brooklyn, NYC, 2000.

William T. Ayton was born in the north of England on 11/11/1958. After showing an early aptitude for drawing and painting (which originally came about from heavy exposure to American comic books), he went to Edinburgh College of Art to get a BA (Hons) in Fine Arts. After living in Edinburgh for a while, Ayton moved to Madrid, Spain with a girlfriend, where he taught English to make a living and had his first solo exhibitions. In 1990, he met Diana, who became his wife about a year after that. Together they came up with the idea for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights exhibition, which has been exhibited across the USA and Europe, and has been seen on TV in Spain & Canada. After they got married, they moved to Paris, France, where Ayton did some more English teaching & did some more art shows. Some of his paintings were featured on a cable TV program in Paris. They moved to Brooklyn, NY, and then to the Hudson Valley, where they now reside.

Ayton's work deals mainly with mythological subject matter, both classical and more contemporary. He draws deeply from his subconscious to create his images. The process is semi-automatic, as he rarely knows what the final result will be. Ayton's influences pull mainly from the surreal and proto-surreal tradition, but also, and less obviously, from the history of expressionism. He tends to work in series of drawings and paintings: in 1998 he did the "Apocalypse" series, which ended up being not really about the end of the world. Most recently, he has been working on a series of paintings based on Rilke's "Duino Elegies", and another large-scale series entitled "The Black Paintings" (with no apologies to Francisco de Goya). Ayton has recently exhibited his War Room installations in 2 locations -- New York City & Poughkeepsie, NY, and intends to tour the exhibit nationally in the USA and internationally.

SELECTED ART INFLUENCES:

Francis Bacon
Joseph Beuys
Arnold Böcklin
Pierre Bonnard
Hieronymous Bosch
Sandro Botticelli
Pieter Breughel
Salvador Dalí
Marcel Duchamp
James Ensor
Max Ernst
Giorgione
Anselm Kiefer
Gustav Klimt
Alfred Kubin
Andrea Mantegna
John Martin
Henri Matisse
Gustave Moreau
Edvard Munch
Albert Ohlen
Pablo Picasso
Odilon Redon
Leonardo da Vinci

Below: article by Pat Willard from "Brooklyn Bridge" magazine, Feb-Mar 2000.

Excerpt:
"William Ayton's figurative paintings have lines that are as strong as suspension-bridge cables. Whether you are contemplating one of the crowded panels in the black-and-white "Duino Series" or the monumental, brilliantly colored canvases he did to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, the way he outlines and defines his figures is what you notice first. Bold and sure, tender in their rendering of small details (the rise of a hip, the small of the back), they give the men and women he paints an elegant majesty."

 

PUBLISHED WORKS



 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS | MAJOR EVENTS

May 2011
"Scenes from The Puppet Oresteia"
Chapbook with New Zealand poet Jack Ross published

January 2009
"Love, War, Fire, Wind: Looking Out from North America's Skull"
Book with Eliot Katz published

October-November 2006
THE BARRETT ART CENTER
Poughkeepsie, NY

October 2005
DIRECT ART MAGAZINE
4 page article/back cover

June 2005
ALTERNATIVE BOOKS
Kingston, NY/Pulse magazine cover & interview

August 2004
CHASHAMA GALLERY
New York City, New York

August 2004
SHAHINIAN FINE ART
Poughkeepsie, NY

December 2002
ALISON WINERY GALLERY
Red Hook, New York

August 2001
NEW YORK TIMES Op-Ed page
Illustration for Hiroshima article

December 1998
SURROGATE COURTHOUSE BUILDING
New York City, New York

October 1998
UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS ART GALLERY
Minneapolis, Minnesota

July 1998
NATIONAL ART CENTRE OF CANADA
Ottawa, Ontario

June 1998
VETERANS' WAR MEMORIAL & PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
San Francisco, California

May 1998
THE U.S. SENATE ROTUNDA
Washington, D.C.

November 1997
THE PEACE MUSEUM
Chicago, Illinois

October 1994
HARD TO FIND GALLERY
Boone, North Carolina

July 1994
QUARTERSAW GALLERY
Portland, Oregon

December 1993
PALAIS DES NATIONS OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Geneva, Switzerland

October 1993
ESPACE VICTORIA 8
Paris, France

June 1993
PALACIO DE CONGRESOS Y EXPOSICIONES DE SEVILLA
Seville, Spain

May 1993
PORTES OUVERTES
La Plaine de St. Denis, France

September 1992
EXPO '92 ANDALUCIAN PAVILION
Seville, Spain

July 1991
THE INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL CENTRE OF THE JAGIELLONIAN UNIVERSITY
Krakow, Poland

May 1991
THE ACADEMIE BUILDING OF THE PEACE PALACE
The Hague, The Netherlands

April 1991
COLCHESTER ARTS CENTRE
Colchester, Essex, U.K.

March 1991
WIVENHOE CONFERENCE CENTRE
Wivenhoe, Essex, U.K.

August 1989
LA TARTERIE GALLERY
Madrid, Spain

March 1989
ELIGEME GALLERY
Madrid, Spain

December 1987
TORRES-BEGUE GALLERY
Madrid, Spain

 

 

 

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

October 2014
ATWATER GALLERY
Rhinebeck, NY

September 2014
LIMNER GALLERY
Hudson, NY

October 2013
LIMNER GALLERY
Hudson, NY

November 2010
NORTH PARK UNIVERSITY GALLERY
Chicago, IL

November 2010
LIMNER GALLERY
Hudson, NY

October 2010
UNINVITABLES
Millbrook, NY

April 2010
DORSKY MUSEUM
New Paltz, NY

March 2009
LIMNER GALLERY
Hudson, NY

November 2008
LIMNER GALLERY
Hudson, NY

July 2008-February 2009
MUSEUM ON THE SEAM
Jerusalem, Israel

October 2007-June 2008
MUSEUM ON THE SEAM
Jerusalem, Israel

May 2007
COLLEGE OF ST. ROSE
Albany, NY

October-Novermber 2006
VICTORY HALL CULTURAL CENTER
Jersey City, NJ

October 2005
LIMNER GALLERY
Phoenicia, NY

March 2005
LIMNER GALLERY
Phoenicia, NY

February 2005
CENTER FOR CURATORIAL STUDIES, BARD COLLEGE
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

December 2004
DONSKOJ & COMPANY
Kingston, NY

September 2004
LIMNER GALLERY
Phoenicia, NY

October 2003
THE GALLERY AT WAREHOUSE
Washington, D.C.

April 2003
COLLABORATIVE CONCEPTS
Beacon, New York

April 2003
WNYC — The Art Of War
online-only exhibit (gallery 2, artwork # 10)

March 2003
GALLERY 218
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

May 1993
ESPACE VICTORIA 8
Paris, France

February 1993
MUZEUM ZIEMI POLSKIEJ AKADEMII NAUK
Warsaw, Poland

January 1992
GALERIE JEAN-PIERRE HARTER
Paris, France

March 1992
QUARTERSAW GALLERY
Portland, Oregon

May 1991
THE CHISENHALE GALLERY
London, U.K.

Aug 1988
TORRES-BEGUE GALLERY
Madrid, Spain

HONORS & AWARDS

2004 Project Grant awarded to The War Room by Dutchess County Arts Council.

2003 Fiscal Sponsorship awarded to The War Room by The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).

1998 Symposium: The Artist and Human Rights The National Arts Centre, Ottawa, Ontario.

1997 Fiscal Sponsorship awarded to The UDHR traveling exhibition by NYFA.

1980 MAGNOLIA National Student Landscape Competition 3rd Prize (U.K.).

 

ART EDUCATION

1980-81
Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Art Education)
LEICESTER POLYTECHNIC
Leicester, U.K.

1976-80
B.A. Honours Fine Arts
EDINBURGH COLLEGE OF ART
Edinburgh, Scotland

 

 
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