AboutDuring January and February, R O O M London is pleased to be hosting Diana Taylor's work, consisting of painting and drawings that invade the gallery at every level from floor to ceiling.
The works, which combine figuration with a varied pictorial language, at times appear to be constructed of torn pieces from comics, patterned papers and other printed ephemera, but are actually painted. This isn't collage in the traditional sense but the surface is equally worked with a range of different paints and varnishes. Using a birch ply or mdf ground, she screen prints fragments from wood block prints, letraset, landscapes from Ladybird and colouring books, and uses cross-stitch patterns which when put into paint become like pixelised video games.
Patches of missing information and pictorial snapshots refer to gaps in the memory and create strategies to disrupt the received comprehension of things. Diagrams, frames and classifications from guide books, appear amongst floating elements, disrupting the pictorial plane. Images seemingly fall through spaceâ¦ as if they pass or fall through consciousness. Things are falling apart, like contemporary life, toppling from their position and becoming unsettled.
Diana Taylor is an inveterate collector and her bookshelves contain a mass of source material. Much of this comes from childhood, and drawn to things that are lost, she searches for images that are not seen much any more, particularly landscapes which seem to hold longing, or a yearning for a certain place. She thinks of the varied elements in her work as different languages, hence the title Alpha Beta. These elements are a clash of popular cultures but with occasional references to Disney and oriental painting, with its vertical ordering, and yet retaining a certain kind of Englishness. There is a quality of exuberance evident in her paintings and she remains in the playground even when serious and intense.
But in the end itâs all about the application of the paint, the process of painting and unpainting. The work is fragmented by erasing over with scribble and roller and pouring thick gloss paint, to subvert taste and bring the viewer back to the surface and to remind them that's it is a painting. It's like a melting pot of East meets West, old and new, high and low art, natural and artificial. Like a DJ, sampling, layering and jarring images together, she fuses detail with gesture and mixes and recontextualises existing pictorial images.