Blum & Poe is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Los Angeles-based artist Henry Taylor. Including new paintings, sculptures, and a film installation by friend and collaborator Kahlil Joseph, the works are installed in three unique environments. Stay tuned for an interview with Henry Taylor in the upcoming November 2016 issue of Juxtapoz.
Taylor’s work continues to delve and expand upon the language of portraiture and painting, while also pointing to the social and political issues affecting African Americans today. From racial inequality, homelessness, and poverty, to the importance of family and community, Taylor says, “My paintings are what I see around me…they are my landscape paintings.” His portraits reveal a fascination with the sitters, who are oftentimes portrayed against solid-colored backgrounds, as well as domestic and outdoor spaces. The psychological and physical implications of “space” – public vs. private, interior vs. exterior – is a theme that Taylor explores throughout this presentation.
The exhibition begins inside of an abandoned dirt lot, similar to those from Taylor’s own adolescence, which became playgrounds and gathering spaces for the community. These lots also provided temporary housing, becoming tent cities for the disenfranchised. As a result, they did not go unnoticed and were always policed. Such memories continue to influence Taylor, who turns to both his personal archives as well as found imagery and objects for source material.
Taylor marks the disparity between social classes from one gallery to the next by installing in each space a distinct terrain. An empty, dirt lot beside a lush, grassy lawn inevitably points to the different groups of people who inhabit these spaces. While one space portrays a certain sense of abandon and despair, the other is more about experiencing pleasure and comfort within private property. The subjects in the paintings vary – from scenes of Taylor’s life to imagery inspired by current affairs, candidly depicting the world around him.