American painter Henry Taylor is perhaps best known for his portraiture. Using acrylic, he paints obsessively on various materials that surround him, including empty cigarette packs, bottles, cereal boxes, furniture, and of course, stretched canvas. His subjects include family and friends but also psychiatric patients, whom he worked with while employed at a hospital, cultural and historical icons, strangers, celebrities, and himself. His painterly style has been praised for maintaining a balance between sophisticated art-world references and a spontaneous and natural expressiveness often associated with naive, or outsider art. Referred to as the visual equivalent to blues music, Taylor’s paintings are full of empathy, generosity, and love.
Taylor held a mid-career retrospective at MoMA PS1 and has held solo exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Artpace in San Antonio, and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Group exhibitions include the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Hammer Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, among others.