Michael Taylor is one of Australia's most significant artists. At 86, Taylor has exhibited regularly since 1963 with 96 works held by the National Gallery of Australia alone with many more in State Gallery Collections, regional, institutional, and corporate collections, and numerous private collections. Gallery 9 is proud to present Michael Taylor with an expansive exhibition of new paintings and 43 intriguing and dynamic collages.
Michael Taylor is not new to collage, having worked in the medium for a long period, but to this new collection he brings the well honed hand of a visual master, and a new element in the found frame, collected from the his home town of Cooma.
Found frames have a connection right back to the Impressionists who extended their new mode to framing and hanging. Their first exhibition together in 1874 displayed the paintings spaced apart, instead of edge to edge like the jigsaw-puzzle walls of the Salon, and by 1877 Pissarro and Degas were showing their work in white rather than gilded frames. In 1879 and 1880 coloured frames appeared in shades which complemented the overall colours of the paintings. Their construction was equally avante garde and simple: flat architrave profiles, or convex cushion mouldings (perhaps for the taste of clients, or to better cater to American galleries, few of these original frames survive as paintings were stripped and re-set in more extravagant frames). Taylor has seemingly captured this original spirit with his found frames and, in the context of his paintings, these found frames are as much a part of the work as they define the bounds and carry the picture plane.
The contours of imigary are difficult to identify in the works. With the exception of Barrenjoey, landmarks are largely absent. Instead, the pictorial plane is brought through as layered, light-filled and often watery—a textural and musical space that pulls on ones imagination.
In the series is of course five new paintings, exuding all of the thumping confidence of a true Australian master still performing at his peak.
Press release courtesy Gallery 9.