In curious, understated assemblages, paintings, and sculptures, Al Taylor experimented with the way viewers experience and perceive spaces. An alumnus of the Whitney Independent Study Program and of the provincial but influential Kansas City Art Institute, Taylor’s paintings exhibit late Modernism as channeled through a kind of Midwestern pragmatism. Taylor’s works make use of household materials like broomsticks, Formica, and twine, and make oblique reference to others, such as bicycle wheels. Many can be read as funky, loving representations of the erogenous body encountering space, featuring protruding appendages and wheels suggesting orifices. His New Imagist-influenced paintings have a charming quietude about them, often made with a few simple brushstrokes. His 1989 gouache and ink painting Odd/Even looks like a study for some collapsing geometric form to be made of wood or steel, but stands alone as a spaceless, postminimal abstraction.
Taylor has shown exhibited his work worldwide at institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou, and the Museum of Modern Art.