New York

Al Taylor

David Zwirner | 525 & 533 West 19th Street

It is hard to know where to begin describing Al Taylor’s imagination. His practice was a somewhat hermetic, hybrid one, a private marriage of drawing and object making. Taylor (who moved to New York from Kansas City, Missouri, in 1970 and died of cancer in 1999 at the age of fifty-one) spent seven years working for Robert Rauschenberg, so his scavenger’s devotion to cast-off objects comes with a pedigree. But to say that Rauschenberg’s example somehow accounts for Taylor is about as useful as saying that Frank O’Hara read a lot of Arthur Rimbaud. Marcel Duchamp was clearly important to him, especially the way Duchamp activated the readymade—suspending it from the ceiling, for example, or deploying it to cast shadows. Yet Taylor’s constructions, concatenations of attached parts, are far from readymade. Some of them, carefully assembled from wire and slats of wood, look for all the world

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