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.
At 5:30pm on Wednesday, March 11, the gallery will host a panel discussion on Taylor’s Hawaiian works featuring Isabelle Dervaux, writer Mimi Thompson, and artist Stanley Whitney, moderated by Lucas Zwirner. RSVP to Michelle Kim: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Al Taylor (1948–1999) was born in Springfield, Missouri, and received a B.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1970. He moved to New York later that year, where he would continue to live and work until his death, in 1999. His first solo exhibition took place in 1986 at the Alfred Kren Gallery in New York. His work would go on to be shown in numerous exhibitions in America and Europe, including solo presentations at the Kunsthalle Bern (1992) and the Kunstmuseum Luzern (1999), both in Switzerland.
Other recent solo exhibitions were presented at Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2006 and 2010); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark (2011); Santa Monica Museum of Art (2011); The Glass House Painting Gallery, New Canaan, Connecticut (2014); and High Museum of Art, Atlanta (2017–2018).
Work by the artist is represented in a number of prominent public collections, including the British Museum, London; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Glenstone Museum, Potomac, Maryland; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Morgan Library & Museum, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.
The Estate of Al Taylor has been represented by David Zwirner since 2007. This is the seventh solo exhibition of the artist’s work, following on: Al Taylor Early Work (2008); Al Taylor Rim Jobs and Sideffects (2010); Al Taylor Pass the Peas and Can Studys (2012); Al Taylor (2014) at our Mayfair, London, space; Al Taylor Pet Stains, Puddles, and Full Gospel Neckless (2015); and Al Taylor Early Paintings (2017).
Press release courtesy David Zwirner.
After structural issues forced The Armory Show into last-minute relocation pirouettes last year, the fair returns between 5 and 8 March 2020 with a flourishing programme, complemented by stand-out shows across New York City.