|Bryan Taylor, artist's notebook|
Tempus Projects, who is fast approaching its two-year birthday, is showing Bryan Taylor's woodcuts in a show titled "The Intimate Order".
One of the things I liked about this show was that the artist showed his own notebooks, letting people look in them and get insight into his process and idea-gestation, some of which lead up to the works exhibited. This is a rare opportunity, and one I encourage any viewer to spend time taking advantage of whenever it is offered. I chose this image because it is related to the work in the show. Note the erection, the excitation emphasized by the red tints, the eye-popping grimace, pointing gesture, ribs and vertebrae sticking out, etc. The word visceral comes to mind.
|Work by Bryan Taylor|
This woodcut is of what appears to be a somewhat stylized severed head, with black tendrils wafting towards the sky. They bring to mind the wisps of smoke from incense, often used as a temporary conduit between the profane and sacred planes. Is this about sacrifice?
|Work by Bryan Taylor|
|Bryan Taylor, "Tropism"|
One theme that repeats in these images is that of fusion with the Other, of becoming one not via analysis or comparison, but via the ingestion and juxtaposition of the flesh. Physical communion as a means to get closer to God.
|Bryan Taylor, "Talisman"|
This is one of the longer pieces, between 5-6 feet long. We see an elongated, detached and skinned human leg, with some viscera attached to where the hip would have been, the foot resting on a human skull, perhaps symbolic of the relationship of the flesh to thought in Bataille's philosophy.
There are tantalizing marks atop the foot, looking ambiguously close to those one would find in the usual depictions of the crucified Jesus' foot (yes, real crucifictions involved driving the nails through the ankles, not the way it is normally depicted in religious icons).
|Bryan Taylor, "Autotropism"|
In "Autotropism", we find a sitting figure with a tree or horn-like growth emerging from a hole in the side of his head. This looks like the totemic half-man half-animal figures we see from indigenous early cultures from all over the world. The pose looks more than a little fetal, perhaps nascent. The title implies that this is in part abouts turning towards the self.
Congratulations to Bryan Taylor for a trek into dark territory, to Tracy Midulla Reller for showing it, and Tempus Projects for enriching our community.
[From this and other exhibits marking the start of the 2011-2012 season, it looks like a year of daring and strong exhibits has begun.]