Al Taylor -
Floaters (Pill Heads), 1998
Fishing floats, acrylic, bamboo, mica, pencil, formica and wood
28-1/2 x 24-1/2 x 31 inches (72.4 x 62.2 x 78.7 cm)

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Opening reception: Saturday, January 26, 6 – 8pm

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of drawings and "constructions" by the late Al Taylor. The exhibition will focus on the last body of work that he made before his death in 1999. This is the first exhibition of work by Al Taylor in New York since 1995.

Al Taylor was originally a painter. However, he found with painting, he couldn't capture the essence of the subject. He wanted a medium that was more specific, and as a result, his work evolved into three-dimensions-an object first, followed by a drawing (rather than the more traditional approach of creating a drawing first). Drawing and object became one in the same, it was all one effort that could not be separated.

In 1980 Taylor traveled to Africa, a trip that had a profound outcome on his work and career. This trip taught Taylor to make do with materials at hand, and the importance of using an element of humor in one's art. Upon his return to the United States, financial necessity coupled with what he had learned in Africa, forced Taylor to make "constructions" out of materials that he had. These materials were left over from sets he had constructed for a dance troupe and salvaged on the street. These new works led to his first gallery show in 1986.

The works in this exhibition are all made from Styrofoam debris Taylor collected while walking the beaches of Hawaii in 1998, so-called 'floaters' used to mark fisherman's nets. Taylor drilled holes in their sides and joined them to bamboo sticks, making various compositions. In this form they can be compared to outrigger canoes and also as a metaphor for Polynesian culture--the importance of fishing and navigation within it. As was usually done, the drawings in the exhibition are actually based on the constructions, interesting meditations on form and structure.

Taylor has had major exhibitions at Kunstmuseum Luzern, Kunsthalle in Bern and will have a drawings retrospective at Staatliche Graphische Sammlung in Munich, which will open in 2003. Taylor's work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Yale University Art Gallery.

An illustrated catalogue with an essay by Klaus Kertess will accompany the exhibition.

For more information please contact the gallery.