Sunday, March 31, 2013


There are still a couple more weeks to view my online-only exhibition in the AbArtOnline Galerie Cerulean (click here).

I was thrilled when the artist and writer Philip Hartigan chose to focus on my work for one of his blog posts (click here). I loved what he wrote, a sensitive reading of one painting in the online exhibition, the recently-completed "Decay of Sound," with extrapolations to the twelve works in the online show. Please visit Philip's blog, Praeterita, to see the post.

As I've said elsewhere, Joe Walentini's concept for his artists in this season was to provide new work alongside work from past years, to draw parallels or contrasts. Here is a photo of my studio wall, with some of the new work and some I brought out of storage alongside it, as I was contemplating my selections last February. I was very happy to give some works in storage another chance to be seen and put in some new context.

As you can see in the foreground center, the recently-completed "All The Time" has definite corollaries in the painting to the right of it, "Sotto Voce," from 1998. As "Sotto Voce" didn't end up in the final selection of just six works to complement the six recent works, I thought I would provide today a view of that and a few other works which I'd wanted to use, but in the end did not. (Some of these older works were documented in slides and then the slides were scanned, so if the photos are not as crisp as what we've become accustomed to, that's the reason.)

Ravenna Taylor, "Sotto Voce," 1998, oil on wood panel, 30 x 30 inches
Ravenna Taylor, "What Matters," 1997, watercolor on paper, 22 x 30 inches
Ravenna Taylor, "Efflorescence 3," 1997, oil on two canvases, 40 x 60 inches

I titled my show after a recent painting: Echo-location. These and other works from before 2002 were the most resonant with some of my latest work, because in my work of more recent years, I have been involved with patterns and systems. These earlier works, however, had evolved in the early part of the 90's, as I was emerging from a more naturalistic (though still loosely-rendered) study of landscape, and especially horizons. 

Ravenna Taylor, "Avowal," 1995, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches

I was then using a palette very much inspired by my walks outdoors, especially on the western fringe of San Francisco, at Ocean Beach. Around 1997, I began to see a lot of museum exhibits celebrating India's anniversary of independence from Great Britain, and my palette was strongly influenced as I was thrilled by the wider possibilities of emotional expression through color. Here is an example of a work in oils that used the same compositional approach, but with new developments in my chromatic expression, (as can also be seen in the watercolor above, "What Matters"):

Ravenna Taylor, "Cadence 2," 1998, oil on two canvases, 36 x 60 inches

These are just a few of many works I still own, which I had wanted to exhibit in the current online show, and which would have resonated with my latest work; my work has always been very involved with edges and meetings, the harmony or dissonance of one visual field meeting another, and the metaphysical or metaphorical possibilities I could explore in that edge. A number of other possible inclusions can be viewed in my website (which I must confess has not been updated since about 2004!) -- That is to be found here.

There was a leap in my imagery from the years 2002, and the one painting I included from that period in the online show is this one, "No Words."

Ravenna Taylor, "No Words," 2002, oil on canvas, 30 x 32 inches

More than a few others from the years between 2000 and 2003 are represented in the website; during that period, I was taking part in a figure drawing group every week, and the impact of that activity is reflected in the changed imagery with which I worked.

In a future post, I will put up some photos of work completed since my move to New Jersey in 2003, works I considered for this year's online exhibit, but which, like paintings pictured above, were not finally included.

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