A Contentious Beauty – The Work of Henry Taylor

Very excited to learn that Henry Taylor’s work has been chosen for the Whitney Biennial  which opens on March 17, the first in the museum’s new downtown building. Chosen as one of 63 participants, Taylor’s work grounds a gestural black body politic in the Biennial,  a sprawling survey of what’s happening now in contemporary art — the new, the influential and the potentially provocative.

See Alice Jump.jpg

See Alice Jump

Taylor, who lives in Los Angeles, paints subjects found in his every day in a fast and loose expression. The paintings read like a dirtier more interesting version of Larry Rivers with their text, sketching, and rough brushwork. Portraiture is his work’s center of gravity.

The tumultuous and contentious discourse pre and post election in the studios and on the streets is concerned with fundamental questions of who we are as a nation. What is a personal identity post identity politics? Is social struggle more class than race? How do we connect to place through our socioeconomic lens? How does heritage look on the outside?


Untitled Finger

Taylor invites friends, relatives, heroes from the worlds of sports and acquaintances from off the street to depict this tension between what was and still is, what could have been and why it’s not in moody and gooey downbeat environments that are more filled with expressive beauty and wisdom than hope.


That Was Then

images from Saatchi Gallery




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