Two works by Al Taylor, titled Untitled (Layson a Stick), dated circa 1992-1993, and Untitled (Tide Tab), dated circa 1993.

The Drawings of Al Taylor

February 21–May 24, 2020
The Morgan Library & Museum, New York
Infused with great curiosity and a unique sense of humor, Al Taylor’s compositions combine technical skill and Old Master virtuosity. Taylor's works were inspired by everyday objects and situations—as the press release for the upcoming exhibition of his drawings at The Morgan Library & Museum notes, “he drew maps of pet stains, imagined puddles hanging out to dry, and created elegant still-lifes out of assemblages of tin cans balanced on wires.” Curated by Isabelle Dervaux, this show marks the first solo museum exhibition of Taylor's work in New York, and will be accompanied by a catalogue bringing to light new research based on the drawings, sketchbooks, and abundant documentation in the artist’s estate. A related program of talks and discussions will also take place at the museum.

Taylor’s drawings show how the artist sought to expand the possibilities of vision by creating new ways of experiencing and imagining space, giving insight into his thinking. As Nathaniel Lee writes in Artforum: “Any attempt at a genuine characterization of the artist’s endeavors must recognize the holistic importance seeing had in his cognitive schema. Taylor was unremittingly preoccupied with the syntactical edifice supporting the centuries-old notion of communicable retinal perception. Drawing provided a realm where Taylor could not only articulate but also manipulate that syntax to yield new forms and new realities.”

Concurrent with the show at The Morgan Library & Museum, David Zwirner will present A / LOW / HA: The Hawaiian Works. Opening on March 5 and featuring sculptures, drawings, and prints, the exhibition will reflect Taylor’s fascination with Hawaii. 

Image: (Left) Al Taylor, Untitled (Layson a Stick), c.1992–1993; (right) Al Taylor, Untitled (Tide Tab), c.1993

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