Surveying thirty years of Henry Taylor’s work in painting, sculpture, and installation, this retrospective will celebrate a Los Angeles artist widely appreciated for his unique aesthetic, social vision, and freewheeling experimentation. Taylor’s portraits and allegorical tableaux—populated by friends, family members, strangers on the street, athletic stars, and entertainers—display flashes of familiarity in their seemingly brash compositions, which nonetheless linger in the imagination with uncanny detail. In his paintings on cigarette packs, cereal boxes and other found supports, Taylor brings his primary medium into the realm of common culture. Similarly, the artist’s installations often re-code the forms and symbolisms of found materials (bleach bottles, push brooms) to play upon art historical tropes and modernism’s appropriations of African or African-American culture. Taken together, the various strands of Taylor’s practice display a deep observation of Black life in America at the turn of the century, while also inviting a humanist fellowship that pushes outward from the particular. This will be the first large-scale museum exhibition in Taylor’s hometown.
“Our grantees range from small arts organizations with one staff member to major museums, yet they all provide essential resources for artists as well as innovative platforms for critical cultural dialogue. Creative risk-taking is at the heart of this country’s most meaningful social, political, and cultural developments, therefore we are proud to stand behind artist-centered organizations that support experimental practice.”
Joel Wachs, President