On View – a four-part presentation at Timothy Taylor 16×34 – will unveil an evolving exhibition over the course of a year. Each iteration will take place in the intermediary period between the gallery’s exhibitions, for the duration of approximately one month, with four episodes in total throughout 2017. On View functions as a group exhibition, separated into distinct parts, with the broader conversation between the works revealing itself as the year unfolds.
On View commences with a large-scale work by Simon Hantaï. Completed in 1980, Tabula demonstrates Hantaï’s unique pliage technique at a scale realized in the artist’s later works. Applied with a primary red reminiscent of Ellsworth Kelly – an artist closely examined by Hantaï (they were neighbours in Paris) – Tabula also recalls Matisse’s famous saying: “ça coupe très fort,” best translated as “it slices through quite sharply”, in it’s execution of the biomorphic red forms, which bear testament to Hantai’s early experiments with Surrealism’s automatism. Visually compared to Matisse’s cut outs, Hantaï’s paintings diverge in their execution.
Though both artists shared an interest in destabilizing the unity of the pictorial plane and the relations between figure and ground, where the former draws his impetus from external models, Hantaï draws from the very body of the canvas itself. Folding as a method transformed surface into space without disposing of its unity.
Hantaï’s non-systemized production differs from the orderly and sequential process in which Matisse’s paper cut outs were carefully produced and rearranged. Executed in a method dependent upon the tightness of the knots, and consistency of the color of paint, chance and unpredictability of the gesture were essential in Hantaï’s creative process. Confiding to Otto Hahn, Hantaï remarked: "My canvases are never a screen where I project my visions, dreams, or desires. Matisse once said to painters "Cut out your tongue!" To this, I add, "Gouge out your eyes!"."
As part of a developing public program, the gallery will also screen the documentary Les Silences Rétiniens by filmmaker and painter Jean-Michel Meurice. Running at 58 minutes the film offers an in-depth look into the life and practice of Hantaï, in particular his unique pliage technique. A revolutionary act of folding, painting and unfolding, pliage concluded the very principles of abstraction espoused in the artist’s youth, laying the ground for something new.
Incorporating curated group and solo exhibitions of historical and contemporary figures, Timothy Taylor 16×34 draws upon Timothy Taylor’s twenty-year history and London program, while introducing a distinct vision that acknowledges its location at the heart of the New York art district.