“Some Sort of Solitude,” Tommy Taylor’s second solo show at Whitespace gallery demonstrates a new direction in Taylor’s work. Over the past twelve years, his paintings have been mainly abstract pieces with amoebic-like forms created from intuitive, as opposed to planned, brushstrokes. His work continues evolving, but even though it introduces figures and pop references, it still contains those amorphous, abstract elements of his previous work.
His reflection on the conflicting desires, drives, meanings, and logics that confounded him as a child showed Taylor that, while he can grasp the many layers on which that conflict plays out better, it is still just as characteristic of his adult experience as it was of his childhood. He gives expression to this by making images that display the paradoxical combination of meaningfulness and incoherence that is typical of an experience.
He does this by placing visual elements that are hard to understand side-by-side. These forms include images of ‘real’ life from photographs, magazines, film stills and direct observation; symbolic images like cartoons and drawings; and marks that include lines and basic shapes. He brings these elements into the space of the painting in an intentionally chaotic and confusing way by excluding the traditional visual cues and logic of painting – ground, figure, tone, value, size, and perspective – like his previous abstract work.
As a result, he is thwarting any possibility of arriving at a coherent, consistent visual reading or deciphering of the painting. Produced and displayed in this way, the elements dissolve into, mask, and compete with each other, just like the drives, histories, expectations, accepted social norms, and other elements in our lives. The elements and the paintings as a whole both lose and gain meaning and structure on their own, confronting the viewer less with a depiction of experience than with an actual experience. These works are challenging, defying, and inviting the viewer all at once.
Tommy Taylor has shown his work locally, regionally, and nationally. In 2011, he was recognized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia as an up and coming local artist when he was selected for “Movers & Shakers: MOCA GA Salutes the Rising Stars of the Georgia Arts Scene.” He recently completed a mural in Inman Park as a part of the Four Coats Project. He was awarded the opportunity by the City of Atlanta. Taylor currently resides and works in Atlanta, Georgia.
An artist talk will be held at the gallery on Wednesday, March 28.
Through March 31.
814 Edgewood Ave.