Henry Taylor, That Was Then, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 95 x 75".

Henry Taylor

Blum & Poe | Los Angeles

Henry Taylor, That Was Then, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 95 x 75".

History, as we know, repeats itself—a truism Henry Taylor evinces with mordant effect for his recent exhibition at Blum & Poe. Incorporating the grand loose paintings and rough-hewn assemblages for which he has become known, Taylor revisited familiar narratives surrounding the African American social and cultural experience. Installed, the work spread across three rooms, accessed through as many frostedglass- paned institutional doors (specially installed for this show), labeled variously PRINCIPAL, PROBATION, and DETENTION.

Passing through the first door (PRINCIPAL), the viewer was confronted with five large canvases inspired by WPA photographs of Depression-era black farm workers. Taylor’s handling of the works is consistent with his signature aesthetic, wherein the energy of direct, immediate mark-making is privileged over the finesse of a careful line. In Everyone’s Momma

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