Imperfectly-perfect, each work in this new suite of watercolours by Imogen Taylor demonstrates a cunning and economical use of space. Taylor divides up small surface areas in various different ways, playing with composition, orientation and filling them with a range of shapes that sometimes recall landscapes and sometimes bodies. Taylor leans into the specific nature of watercolours and the ways that large areas of painted colour are irregular and uneven, betraying the way pigments mixed with water are manipulated by the brush before pooling and drying. Banal, everyday language and phrases are playfully used in the titles and these double-meanings reflect the ambiguity of the painted forms.
Imogen Taylor (b. 1985, Whangarei, lives and works in Auckland) is known for creating geometrical abstractions that engage and play with the forms and legacies of European Modernism. Though Taylor draws from the abstracted forms and coloured juxtapositions of Cubism, Fauvism, and Russian Constructivism, her paintings are stripped of the masculine self-seriousness that saturates the source material. Instead, in their vibrant interplay of thickly applied colour and contrasts between imposing parallel lines and soft curves, the work is joyful, sincere, and pleasurable.
Taylor graduated in 2007 from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and in 2010 gained a Post-Graduate Diploma of Fine Arts. Significant solo exhibitions include: Sapphic Fragments, Hocken Collections Uare Taoka o Hākena, Dunedin (2020); Pocket Histories, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, Auckland (2018); Social Studies, the Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt (2019) and BODY LANGUAGE, Artspace, Auckland (2015). In 2019 Taylor was the recipient of the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship and in 2017 she was artist in residence at McCahon house.