James Cohan

Alison Elizabeth Taylor

07 May - 19 Jun 2010

© Alison Elizabeth Taylor
Hole Kicked, 2009
Wood veneer, shellac
15 X 18 1/2 inches

May 7 – June 19, 2010

American artist Alison Elizabeth Taylor returns to James Cohan Gallery for her third solo gallery exhibition. The exhibition entitled Foreclosure opens on May 7th and runs through June 19th, 2010. Taylor has become well-known for reinvigorating the Renaissance craft of marquetry, or intarsia wood inlay, a medium once made popular during the unprecedented age of luxury of Louis XIV's Court of Versailles. By choosing a medium that is typically associated with wealth and power to portray dystopian scenes of everyday life, Taylor creates a tension between the luxurious quality of the material and a certain abjectness of the subject matter.

Starting with her last exhibition, Taylor introduced architecture and interior space into her work as a way to reveal her characters, without actually depicting of them. From clues that Taylor cleverly constructed in trompe l'oeil wood veneer, we came to know and understand the inhabitant of Room (2008), a free-standing, walk-in installation.

Taylor returns to architecture in this current show; this time to explore the pathos of lives dispossessed by the economic disaster of the past year and to expose the underlying greed that led to this desperate situation. Spending her childhood in Las Vegas, Nevada, Taylor watched first-hand how an explosive housing market has fallen prey to the bubble-bust phenomena that has become common across the country.

In Foreclosure, the viewer experiences an architectural space not through its contents but through its voids. In this new body of work that is reminiscent of the poignancy in Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, the images do not portray the figure, but instead focus on the marks, holes, and removals found in derelict homes that have been vandalized in connection with their foreclosure. She explains, "I create works based on the damage I've seen: punched out holes in drywall, shotgun blasts from inside a house thru the exterior wall, broken doors, windows, stolen pipes and copper wire, taps left on to flood, angry graffiti, stripped interiors, and in one case a hole in the back of the house that squatters had made with a pickaxe, a sort of back door where they could come and go unseen by neighbors." These markings become evidence of the emotional havoc experienced by those removed from these properties. Taylor thus explores the feelings of frustration and loss of power still tangible in these abandoned physical spaces.

Alison Elizabeth Taylor lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She is a graduate of Columbia University, Graduate School of the Arts (2005.) This past fall 2009, Taylor was the subject of a solo show at The College of Wooster Art Museum, Ohio. Her work has been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including in 2009 Supramundane at Ambach and Rice Gallery in Seattle; in 2007 The Powder Room, Track 16 Gallery, LA; in 2005, Dirty Pigeons at 96 Gillespie's, London and Other America at Exit Art, NY. Upcoming in 2010, Taylor will be participating in the 185th Annual: An Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art, National Academy Museum, NY curated by Nancy Malloy.

Tags: Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Al Taylor