Alison Elizabeth Taylor Exhibition

James Cohan Gallery

poster for Alison Elizabeth Taylor Exhibition

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James Cohan Gallery announces an exhibition of new works by Alison Elizabeth Taylor, whose marquetry, or wood-inlay, figurative works reveal the hidden histories of everyday lives. In her use of wood veneer, Taylor subverts the material's customary use as a decorative element used to convey a sense of wealth, power and elite social status. Taylor's oblique narratives refer to mainstream American culture and its fascination with large vehicles, sex, guns, video games, religion, hunting and the military. Limited to a palette of natural woods, she innovates by using the grain and tone of the veneer to explore issues of space, surface, line, color and form. Her paintings uniquely transgress the traditional distinction between craft and high art.

The centerpiece of Taylor's exhibition is a free-standing architectural installation in Gallery Three entitled Room. Like the trompe l'oeil masterpiece known as the Duke of Urbino's Studiolo from the Ducal Palace in Gubbio (1479-1482) now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the contents but not the occupant of Room are depicted in detailed wooden marquetry panels. During the Italian Renaissance, patrons commissioned large intarsia projects, like the Gubbio Studiolo, as expressions of their wealth and power to confirm their positions in society by illustrating their educated tastes— the images amounting to an idealized autobiography. In contrast, Taylor's Room does not exalt her subject. In this architectural portrait, Taylor examines the habitat and possessions of its resident, who reveals himself to be a character living on the edge of society.

[Image: Alison Elizabeth Taylor "Hank (detail)" (2007) Wood marquetry, shellac 57 X 73 in.]



from May 22, 2008 to June 21, 2008
Opening Reception: May 22, 6-8 pm.

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