Timothy Taylor Menu
West Bund
West Bund, 1114 November 2021
On the occasion of West Bund 2021, Timothy Taylor will exhibit works by some of the most imaginative contemporary artists working with the gallery today, each presenting works reflective of the gallery’s sustained interest in colour, vibrancy and the craft of painting. Spanning painting, sculpture and tapestry, our booth exemplifies a shared formal commitment to detailed, painterly compositions; careful brushstrokes; and deep, pure pigments in which the hand of the artist becomes visible.

Daniel Crews-Chubb ​​uses his signature experimental collage style to deconstruct the floral still life in a series of 2020 Flowers paintings, inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers. The works relate to Crews-Chubb’s ongoing investigation of ancient and new visual iconography, which has seen him blend the painterly language of Abstract Expressionism, Neo-Expressionism and CoBra with a vast array of symbols and images taken from sources as diverse as Greco-Roman deities, medieval gargoyle carvings and early English alphabet designs.

Armen Eloyan has navigated between figurative satire and abstraction throughout his career, exploring existential narratives centered around storytelling and cartoons related to the experimental surrealism of Philip Guston. In the past year Eloyan has embraced total abstraction, combining a deeply physical and process-based approach to the canvas with a careful examination of color and light. Illustrating the freshness and diversity of his oeuvre, the current presentation includes a monumental new abstract work in vibrant cobalt blue, created in 2021, and several early figurative works. Money and Milk II, a large-scale painting in expressionistic strokes of gleaming turquoise and fiery orange, bridges the gap between the figurative and abstract elements of his practice.

A large-scale Coca-Cola Girls painting by renowned artist Alex Katz draws on a grand tradition of midcentury American advertising, depicting an athletic, carefree young woman in saturated shades of scarlet and white. For Katz, this optimistic figure encapsulates a romantic Pop nostalgia: ‘That’s Coca-Cola red, from the company’s outdoor signs in the fifties... you know, the blond girl in the red convertible, laughing with unlimited happiness. It’s a romance image.’ The series, the longest-running in Katz’s career, crystallises Katz’s ability to capture movement in balletic motion.

Sahara Longe, who recently featured in the gallery’s annual summer exhibition IRL (In Real Life), presents a monumental 2021 oil painting, Suits. Trained in a classical Italian atelier tradition dating back to John Singer Sargent, Longe shows her profound understanding of colour and human form in this nostalgic portrait of two men in old-fashioned suits against an abstract background of rich purple, rose-pink and mauve. The work is singular in her oeuvre, which predominantly features women. Uniquely among contemporary artists working today, Longe uses a thick, resin-based glaze directly inspired by Peter Paul Rubens’ own paint materials and high-quality oil paints in rare colors found in Old Master paintings, such as lead white, Chinese vermilion and cobalt, on a jute board to bring out luminosity and texture. Yet Longe wryly subverts these Old Master inspirations by reframing black figures as the subjects and narrators of their own compositions in her assured depictions of friends and family members.

Chris Martin combines the chromatic brilliance of the urban downtown with hallucinatory abstract interpretations of his native landscape. His saturated, vibrant palette draws from Brooklyn sign-painting, street art and the lurid colors of Manhattan’s city lights, where he came of age as an artist in the 1980s and ’90s working alongside such artists as Jean-Michel Basquiat and the graffiti New Wave. Yet he describes his vast abstract canvases as landscapes, powerfully inspired by the rambling forests, azure skies and blue lakes of his home in the Catskills, upstate New York. As Glenn O’Brien once wrote of Martin, his colors evoke a uniquely American brilliance, ‘the Sunset brought to you by Exxon, that purple haze in your brain that Jimi Hendrix celebrated, the flames of catalytic cracking inventing a new spectrum.’

Antoni Tàpies refined a visual language that draws on Surrealist imagery in art that emphasizes physical objects and their materiality. Lligat (1995) is a late work which distills his trademark interest in the use of found objects and mysterious, chalk-like symbols. Strongly influenced both by the Catholic church integral to his Catalan upbringing and by his youthful commitment to the Surrealist circle in 1920s Paris, Tàpies combined both interests in cryptic signs and symbols, evoking transformation, metamorphosis and enlightenment. The eroded quality of his work, as seen in Lligat, adds to its sense of mysticism, uncovering archeological references important to an artist interested in ancient ruins and the transmutation of objects into art and then dust again.

Delicately varied brushwork and rich, jewel-toned hues vibrate across the surfaces of a new edition of Annie Morris’ compelling Stack series and a sewn canvas-on-steel grid tapestry, drawing from the artist’s memories, experiences and the subconscious as well as the influence of Modernist abstraction. Colour plays an important role across her practice through a shared palette in rich shades of cobalt blue, burgundy, mustard yellow and earthy green.
West Bund – Timothy Taylor