Henry Taylor

b. 1958, Ventura, California, USA. Lives and works in Los Angeles, California, USA


Henry Taylor
Henry Taylor, untitled (jade in white), 2012


Henry Taylor paints representations of reality but rejects the label of portraitist. His pictures of people map an American cultural landscape that he is part of and witnesses first-hand but, rather than being documents, the paintings remain enigmatic, empathetic and open-ended. Taylor’s subjects, which range from members of the Black community to symbolic objects that represent historical struggle, come from a combination of memory and archival images gathered on studio walls. The breadth and nuance of the human condition are perhaps his primary topics. In the painting Clean a slender woman stands in an off-white ground in which the painting title has been written. The brush marks are loose and confident, lending the work an urgent feeling, partly abstracting the figure, or at least obscuring their facial features. Feelings of assertive confidence coexist with an impression of vulnerability, giving the painting an emotional charge.