Al Taylor: Prints
Edited by Michael Semff. Text by Debbie Taylor.
The delicate Postminimalist sculptures and drawings of the American artist Al Taylor (1948–1999) were for a long time better known in Europe than in the U.S., despite Taylor’s residing in New York. Laboring quietly from the mid-1980s until his premature death from cancer at the age of 51, Taylor made abstract drawings and sculptures derived from found materials that refresh both abstraction and Postminimalism with their gentle humor and lightness of touch. Working in a decade that favored less discreet gestures, Taylor never loomed large in the New York art world’s consciousness (despite his brief tenure as a studio assistant to Robert Rauschenberg). Alongside an increasing number of exhibitions, this publication helps to remedy that oversight, providing a catalogue raisonné of Taylor’s graphic works, thereby retrieving a previously little-known aspect of his oeuvre. Aside from the published prints, it also reproduces all of the artist’s proofs and variants, which often differ significantly from the final versions.
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
Art in Print
Quoting Al Taylor in the introduction to the catalogue raisonne of his prints, Michael Semff, director of the Graphische Sammling Munchen, writes that printmaking fulfilled Taylor's "own demand to devise 'elaborate programs. systems, and methods which break down, fall apart, and change the more successful they become, taking on meanings and a life beyond' taking on meanings and a life beyond' his 'original intentions" as a matter of course, and Taylor welcomed the medium's balance of control and surprise. The 163 projects documented in Al Taylor Prints: Catalogue Raisonne- many in variant versions and proofs that bring the total number of entries to 230- testify not only to Taylor's experimental spirit in the medium but also to the striking consistency of his vision.