Grounded in realism and energized with a raw simplicity and idiosyncratic detail, his paintings address both political and historical concerns related to the human condition. In Taylor’s hands, the canon of portraiture is not merely a convention, but rather a system through which the artist processes his views, travels, and interactions in the world.
Taylor’s paintings and sculptures offer a window into the experiences of an avid chronicler, capturing his immediate environments, whether within his studio or recent travels to Haiti, Columbia, Cuba, Ethiopia, and Texas. Functioning as source material for his works, Taylor’s copious notes, photographs, and sketches contribute to a practice that is immediate in its execution and generous in spirit, always connected to the communities in which the artist places himself.
Henry Taylor was born in Oxnard, CA (1958) and studied painting at California Institute of the Arts. His most notable exhibitions include a retrospective at MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY; Body Language, Studio Museum, Harlem, NY; 2013 Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; Blues for Smoke, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Made in LA, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Human Nature: Contemporary Art from the Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; and 30 Americans, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL.