David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of sculptures, drawings, and prints by the American artist Al Taylor (1948–1999) at the gallery's 537 West 20th Street location in New York. Spanning the last decade of the artist's career, the works on view focus on Taylor's fascination with Hawaii–its scenic beauty, history, oceanic culture, and the daily lifestyle of the Hawaiian people. Taylor first traveled to Hawaii in 1987, working as an art handler for a hotel developer on Maui and then again on Kauai in 1988. These initial visits sparked the artist's curiosity and became an important source of study and inspiration in his work over the ensuing years. Using his characteristic humour and deft draftsmanship, these works playfully examine ordinary objects such as plastic leis, broomsticks, and foam fishing-net floats, and explore a range of the natural phenomena that he observed, including reflected sunlight and the flow patterns of ocean waves.
To celebrate his fiftieth birthday in 1998, Taylor visited Kauai and the big island of Hawaii. Upon his return–and inspired by his Hawaiian experience–the artist created an explosion of new drawings and sculptures, which, following his untimely death in 1999, would turn out to be his last works.
The exhibition at David Zwirner will coincide with The Drawings of Al Taylor, curated by Isabelle Dervaux at The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, on view from February 21 through May 24, 2020.
Press release courtesy David Zwirner.