Anne Ayvaliotis, a name familiar in art circles in Maine, died in March at age of 90. Her work is in collections at the Portland Museum of Art and the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland.

Yvette Torres Fine Art, 464 Main St., will open a memorial exhibit of her art, “Celebration of an Artist’s Life,” Friday, Sept. 9, with a reception at 5 p.m. The exhibit will run through Oct. 16.

Ayvaliotis was a late-generation Abstract Expressionist, her work developing along the lines of the color field artists of the 1950s and 1960s. She studied at the famous Art Students League in the late 1940s in New York City and then under Hans Hoffman at his School of Fine Art. After independent study in Spain, France, Italy and Greece, she made the bold decision in 1961 to move from Manhattan, the center of the art world at the time, to the rural hills of Washington, Maine.

Many artists she knew — Jackson Pollack, Willem de Kooning — had studios outside of the city, but either they were close to New York or, those who came to Maine including Lois Dodd and Joe Fiore, only summered here.

“It’s fascinating to contemplate how much more widespread her reputation might have been had she stayed in New York City,” said gallery owner Yvette Torres.

But the things that inspired Ayvaliotis to paint were those forms and colors that surrounded her in her little white farmhouse — the fields, her horses, the hills and granite rocks, the lakes. In an interview she said that when she observed nature, she got involved and perceived it in relationship to what she was feeling.

“Both life and painting are about despair and celebration. I always like to have that gigantic tension playing together,” she said.

For more information, call Yvette Torres Fine Art at 332-4014 or visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or