Craig Taylor’s newest paintings, for his second CB1 solo exhibition, Enface, combine the language of abstraction with the format of a portrait or bust. Systems of marks traverse intensely layered surfaces, coalescing into an image of the bust as passages of thick paint are scraped, layered, blocked out, and worked up into a complex viewing experience. The results are simultaneously direct and nuanced, graphic and atmospheric.
The experience of viewing these paintings might remind us of a filmed sequence in which a camera slowly closes in on an image of a head. We simultaneously apprehend the surface marks, the painting’s design, and its depth. Right before our eyes the scale unfolds through visual cues like depth of field, the bust coalescing into an abstract thing.
The visible evidence of this process, the sense of a slow, possibly painful evolution, and the paintings’ self-consciousness, humor, and anxiety all typify Taylor’s work of the past decade. Souvenirs from realms of experience as diverse as Romanticism, atmospheric landscape painting, Hieratic Heads, Etruscan Cippi, and comic books are all filtered through anthropomorphism, viscosity, and uncanny scale into fodder for his practice of omnivorous abstraction.
Craig Taylor received his BFA from Maine College of Art and his MFA from Yale University. In addition to his previous CB1 Gallery exhibition, he has had solo shows at Sue Scott Gallery and March Gallery in New York, La Montagne in Boston, and Test: Showroom, Berlin. Taylor has been included in numerous group exhibitions at various galleries among them CTRL Gallery, Houston, Texas; 106 Greene, Brooklyn, New York; Bakalar and Paine Galleries, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, and Fred [London], Leipzig. Taylor is an Assistant Professor of painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and has previously taught at Massachusetts College of Art, Pratt, Brandeis University, and Yale University. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.