'No horizon' 1994
Courtesy Howard H. Taylor Estate/Galerie Düsseldorf
'If you work very abstractly in a minimal sort of way you are still drawing on your experience of life itself, the physical business of seeing and the more subjective one of feeling.' - Howard Taylor (1)
Howard Taylor created works with an intellectual and spiritual force and a subtle beauty.
In No horizon, he was concerned with reducing nature to its essential forms. He created a large, abstract, three-dimensional white wall piece, shaped into a curve -- with shadows below the form, beside the form and on the form. He was interested in the dynamics of light. Here, however, instead of representing the impact of light on the natural world -- at one remove, within the picture space -- Taylor used light as an active member, a dynamic living force, creating shadows on and around his constructed curved surface. He encouraged us to look, to perceive the subtleties of light as it interacts on his form and on the world around us.
Taylor was always concerned with structure in nature and with the changing patterns of light. He lived for many years in the Darling Ranges east of Perth and at Northcliffe, among the karri forests in the south west. Although he never totally gave up making representational images, the general process of his art was the gradual reduction of the portrayal of light into its most essential -- pure -- form continues as the core of his achievements as an artist.
(1) Howard Taylor, interview with Ted Snell, 16 May 1993, in Ted Snell, Howard Taylor: Forest figure, Fremantle: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1995, p.101.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Anne Gray (ed), Australian art in the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2002