New YorkAlison Elizabeth Taylor: Future Promise
Impromptu: Conversations in Art & Music with Alison Elizabeth Taylor. Thursday 21 October, 6pm. RSVP
James Cohan presents Future Promise, an exhibition of new work by Alison Elizabeth Taylor, on view at 48 Walker Street. This is Taylor’s sixth solo exhibition with James Cohan.
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In Future Promise, Taylor departs from the familiar scenes of her native Southwest to reflect moments of day-to-day life around her home and studio in Brooklyn during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Anthony Cuts Under the Wburg Bridge, Sunset, Taylor depicts a stylist who, unable to work in his shuttered salon, found a way to practice his profession during the shutdown by offering haircuts en plein air under a bridge in Brooklyn. Other paintings show more intimate moments, such as On Thinking Thoughts are Feelings, in which a pregnant woman and her partner lounge in bed. In this work, Taylor conveys a moment in which the interior landscape becomes the only world that exists. Statuary Inc., allows us to peer into the warehouse of a wholesaler of statuettes used in pursuit of spiritual practices, a glimpse of the continuing commerce of an “essential” industry observed while the city was at a standstill. Collectively, the works in Future Promise comprise a love letter to the resilience of a neighborhood and a community, translated through Taylor’s empathetic and incisive eye.
In Taylor’s new works, meaning is derived from the sum of the different materials and mediums that come together to form the image. Reality is taken apart and then reconstructed rather than merely mimetic. Like Les Nabis painters at the turn of the 20th Century in France, Taylor evokes emotion rather than replicates real life.
All the works in Future Promise are made in a novel medium the artist describes as “marquetry hybrid,” which she developed by combining wood veneer marquetry with painted wood, photographic prints she shoots while sketching, and painted passages on panel. Taylor’s complex pictorial spaces often work with this visually dense medium to create a destabilizing viewing experience.
In 2022, Taylor will be the subject of her first major museum survey exhibition. Organized by the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts, this touring exhibition will open at Des Moines Art Center in October 2022 with more than 40 career-spanning works. The show will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalog published by DelMonico Books with essays by Naomi Fry, Lynne Tillman and Allison Kemmerer. In September 2017, Reclamation, a room-sized permanent installation, opened at the Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Center at the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, NY.
Raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, Alison Elizabeth Taylor (b. 1972, Selma, AL) received her M.F.A. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of the Arts in 2005. Selected solo exhibitions include: The Needle’s Eye, Zidoun & Bossuyt, Luxembourg (2019); Musée Historique, Château de Nyon, Switzerland (2015); Un/ Inhabited, Savannah College of Art and Design Galleries, Savannah and Atlanta, GA (2010). Important group shows include: The Slipstream: Reflection, Resilience, and Resistance in the Art of Our Time, Brooklyn Museum, NY (2021); Personal Space, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR (2018); Makeshift, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI (2018), curated by Michelle Grabner; I See Myself in You: Selections from the Collection, Brooklyn Museum, NY (2016); Crafted: Objects in Flux, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (2015); First International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Cartagena de Indias, Cartagena, Colombia (2014); Branching Out: Trees as Art, Peabody Essex Museum, MA, (2014); BEYOND EARTH ART: Contemporary Artists and the Environment, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (2014); Unfolding Tales: Selection from the Collection, Brooklyn Museum, NY (2013); Surface Value, Des Moines Art Center, IA (2011); 185th Annual: An Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art, National Academy Museum, New York, NY (2010).
Taylor has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a New York State Council on the Arts/New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award and the Smithsonian’s Artist Research Fellowship Program Award. Her work is included in the permanent collections of institutions including the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA; Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ; Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA; Hood Museum, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL; and The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH. Taylor lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Courtesy of the artist and James Cohan, New York