Surveying thirty years of Henry Taylor’s work in painting, sculpture, and installation, this retrospective will celebrate a Los Angeles artist widely appreciated for his unique aesthetic, social vision, and freewheeling experimentation. Taylor’s portraits and allegorical tableaux—populated by friends, family members, strangers on the street, athletic stars, and entertainers—display flashes of familiarity in their seemingly brash compositions, which nonetheless linger in the imagination with uncanny detail. In his paintings on cigarette packs, cereal boxes and other found supports, Taylor brings his primary medium into the realm of common culture. Similarly, the artist’s installations often re-code the forms and symbolisms of found materials (bleach bottles, push brooms) to play upon art historical tropes and modernism’s appropriations of African or African-American culture. Taken together, the various strands of Taylor’s practice display a deep observation of Black life in America at the turn of the century, while also inviting a humanist fellowship that pushes outward from the particular. This will be the first large-scale museum exhibition in Taylor’s hometown.
Henry Taylor: B Side is organized by Bennett Simpson, Senior Curator, with Anastasia Kahn, Curatorial Assistant, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Lead support is provided by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, The Sydney Irmas Exhibition Endowment Fund, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Major support is provided by an anonymous donor, Mandy and Cliff Einstein, Liu Lan, Jonathan Sobel and Marcia Dunn, and
Generous support is provided by Blum & Poe, MOCA Projects Council, Gary Steele and Steven Rice, and Pamela West in honor of Bennett Simpson.
Additional support is provided by Matthew and Jessica Farron, and V. Joy Simmons, MD.
Exhibitions at MOCA are supported by the MOCA Fund for Exhibitions with generous funding provided by Earl and Shirley Greif Foundation.