Opening reception: Tuesday, September 24, 5-7pm
Blum & Poe is pleased to present Los Angeles-based artist Henry Taylor’s sixth solo exhibition with the gallery, NIECE COUSIN KIN LOOK HOW LONG IT'S BEEN.
Consistent with Taylor’s oeuvre, these new paintings weave together visual references spanning contemporary politics, American social adversity, and the faces of his milieu articulated through the language of portraiture. However, this latest series includes many works created during the artist’s recent travels in Senegal, compositions hatched from contemplations on the African diaspora, colonialism, slavery, the odds of diverging routes of struggle, and also on unity and seeing oneself in the face of a stranger.
In the same way Taylor has depicted African-American sports stars, icons of Black history, or the patients of a state mental hospital, in this new series the artist captures an essence in his subjects that is both universal and exposes something of Taylor’s own emotional depth and personal storyline. As Zadie Smith wrote in 2018: “This is painting that goes way beyond the brute fact of a body. Other people look; Taylor sees. He puts himself in the way of people.” Each painting is another piece in an ever-growing visual collage reflecting a cultural community to which Taylor belongs, images that remain thinly veiled psychic snapshots of the artist’s path to mapping his own identity and the splintering fragments of a collective identity.
Taylor lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions include the floaters, High Line Art, New York, NY (2017); This Side, That Side, The Mistake Room, Guadalajara, Mexico (2016); They shot my dad, they shot my dad!, Artpace, San Antonio, TX (2015); and a retrospective at MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY (2012). His work has been featured in group exhibitions in museums worldwide including the 58th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2019); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2017); Why Art Matters!, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA (2017); Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium (2016); Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway (2016); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2016); Hammer Museum at Art + Practice, Los Angeles, CA (2016); Camden Arts Centre, London, UK (2016); Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (2013); Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA (2013); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2012); Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (2011); and the Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL (2011). In 2018, Taylor was awarded the Robert De Niro, Sr. prize for his contributions in the field of painting. The first major monograph covering Taylor’s life and work was released in 2018, published by Blum & Poe and Rizzoli Electa, featuring contributions by Charles Gaines, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Sarah Lewis, and Zadie Smith.
Henry Taylor: The Only Portrait I Ever Painted of My Momma Was Stolen