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IMAGE GALLERY

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/4/2014

Henry Taylor

In her catalogue essay for Henry Taylor, Studio Museum in Harlem assistant curator Naima Keith writes, "When asked about the term outsider artist for an article published on the occasion of his midcareer survey at MoMA PS1 in 2012, Henry Taylor responded: 'Motherfuck… I say to hell with all that shit. Some Rauschenberg shit can look like outsider shit and vice versa. Fuck yeah, man.' One is tempted to regard the dismissal as tongue-in-cheek, however, especially since critics have been invoking outsider art in their discussions of Taylor’s work since his solo New York gallery debut in 2005. Reviewing his show at Daniel Reich Gallery in 2005, Roberta Smith observed, 'His work is implicitly political, explicitly painterly and borders on several not always related territories: early Pop Art, outsider art figuration and quasi-academic realism, with some rough-edged collage thrown in for good measure.' In 2009 Christopher Knight wrote, 'Horace Pippin and Jean-Michel Basquiat are stylistically evoked in works that cross outsider art and graffiti.' Clearly these critics were responding to Taylor’s vibrant compositions, in which memories and observations relating to African American life merge. In these works, landscapes are rendered as dense color fields, produced by building up layers of acrylic, and the figures are at times almost cartoonish, missing limbs or faces or appearing with key areas evocatively unfinished." Untitled (Self-Portrait) (2009) is reproduced from Henry Taylor.

Henry Taylor

Henry Taylor

MoMA PS1
Clth, 7.75 x 10.25 in. / 112 pgs / illustrated throughout.





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