Michael Taylor – Artists Talk
Michael works quietly and carefully on one painting at a time, spending about three months over each composition.
On graduating from Goldsmiths School of Art in 1973, he determined to devote his time to working at a single canvas, while funding himself by working evenings at a pub in Greenwich. When the picture was completed, and after a period of reflection, he created another. These were subsequently exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Encouraged by the response, and selling both pictures, he decided to give up the pub job. He has continued to produce his extraordinary paintings, more or less without a break, until the present.
With his wife Caroline, he moved in 1975 to a stone cottage on the edge of the Yorkshire moors, near Haworth. After the birth of their daughter, Ellen (1976), the family moved to a disused chapel in Dorset. In 1980, their son, Richard, was born. Caroline and Michael lived in an old pub in the Dorset village of Childe Okeford. In 2017, they moved to Fordington, which is now part of the county town of Dorchester.
His chosen way of working inevitably leads to a certain complexity of content that only reveals itself with time and familiarity. As Mary Rose Beaumont wrote in the catalogue introduction to his first one man exhibition at Beaux Arts:
Because he works slowly and concentratedly on a single picture at a time, the paintings mark the passage of time within themselves and are a record of the infinitesimal changes in the artist himself who is, as are we all, subject to change and decay. Moreover the paintings do not simply record what is seen, but also what might be seen with the inner eye. They represent thoughts and feelings that are not visible ….. Taylor’s paintings are not for the ten second viewer. They are for the individual who is prepared to let them enter his bloodstream, who will return again and again to savour the slow release quality of these remarkable paintings.
Michael states that he fully intends to continue for as long as it takes.
This event is free and open to the public but seating is limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.