Sunday, May 4, 2014

Six Panels: Al Taylor Organized by Robert Storr

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Al Taylor
Untitled (Study for Distill), 1988
Ink and pencil on paper
12 x 9 inches (30.48 x 22.86 cm) 
Collection of The Glass House

Six Panels: Al Taylor
Organized by Robert Storr 
May 31 - July 15, 2014
(New Canaan, Conn - May 6, 2014) The Glass House is pleased to announce Six Panels, a new series of exhibitions organized by guest curators in the Glass House Painting Gallery. When the Glass House was the private residence of Philip Johnson and David Whitney, the gallery had an active life as new works were acquired and displayed. Building upon this legacy, Six Panels - named for the gallery's unique display system - will inaugurate the Painting Gallery as a site of temporary exhibitions for the public. According to Glass House Director Henry Urbach, "Six Panels is an exciting next step as we transform the Glass House from a static house museum to a place of active cultural exchange." 

The first exhibition in this series presents the work of Al Taylor (1948 - 1999), an artist who Johnson and Whitney collected and knew well. Six Panels: Al Taylor is organized by Robert Storr, a former Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art who worked closely with Johnson and Whitney, and is now the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Dean of the Yale School of Art.
Six Panels: Al Taylor comprises a selection of drawings and three-dimensional assemblages fashioned from humble, often whimsically chosen materials, including wire, bits of scrap wood, tin cans, and broom handles. Although Taylor trained as a painter, he worked dialogically between media: drawings would often form the basis for assemblages, which in turn would generate new explorations on paper. When asked about the relationship between these seemingly independent modes of making, the artist said, "Working on paper or on pieces really is the same thing; it's all one activity that I am not interested in separating. [...] I am trying to find a way to paint; all of this activity is leading towards painting."* According to Storr, "Taylor thought in three dimensions, whether the work at hand was a flat drawing or a convoluted and suspended amalgam of disparate shapes. He is one of the most inventive 'space-makers' in the recent history of contemporary art."
Designed by Johnson and completed in 1965, the Painting Gallery is a cloverleaf-shaped berm structure that includes three tangent circular rooms with rotating display panels. During their lifetime, Johnson and Whitney used the gallery to store and display their collection, most of which they eventually gave to MoMA. Today, the gallery showcases a selection of the Glass House permanent collection, including works by Robert Rauschenberg, David Salle, Julian Schnabel, Cindy Sherman, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol.
Al Taylor was born in 1948 in Springfield, Missouri, and studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and the Whitney Independent Study Program. He moved to New York in 1970, where he lived and worked until his death in 1999. His first solo exhibition took place in 1986 at the Alfred Kren Gallery in New York, and his work has been included in numerous exhibitions in America and Europe, including solo exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Bern (1992); the Kunstmuseum Luzern (1999); the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung at the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2006 and 2010); the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark (2011); the Santa Monica Museum of Art, California (2011); and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta (2013).
Robert Storr is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Dean of the Yale School of Art. He was formerly Senior Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, where in 1996 he co-organized From Bauhaus to Pop: Masterworks Given by Philip Johnson. In 2002 he was named the first Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. He has also taught at the CUNY Graduate Center, the Bard Center for Curatorial Studies, the Rhode Island School of Design, Tyler School of Art, New York Studio School, and Harvard University. He has been a frequent lecturer in this country and abroad. From 2005 to 2007 he was Director of Visual Art for the Venice Biennale, the first American invited to assume that position. The exhibition he organized at David Zwirner in the Fall of 2013 to celebrate the centenary of Ad Reinhardt was voted "Best Show in a New York Commercial Space" by the American Section of the AICA (Association Internationale des Critiques d'Art). 

The Glass House, built between 1949 and 1995 by architect Philip Johnson, is a National Trust Historic Site located in New Canaan, CT. The pastoral 49-acre landscape comprises fourteen structures, including the Glass House (1949), and features a permanent collection of 20th-century painting and sculpture, along with temporary exhibitions and public programs. The tour season runs from May to November and advance reservations are required. For more information, please visit
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save America's historic places to enrich our future, reimagining historic sites for the 21st century. The guiding principle of this initiative is that historic sites must be dynamic, relevant, and evolving in order to foster an understanding of history and culture that is critical, sensory, and layered. For more information, please
Visitor Information: 
The Glass House Visitor Center and Design Store
199 Elm Street, New Canaan, CT 06840
Open Thursday - Monday, 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Tickets start at $30 and include a guided tour.
For general information, please visit or call 203.594.9884.

*Al Taylor, in Ulrich Loock and Al Taylor, "A Conversation," in Al Taylor (Bern: Kunsthalle Bern, 1992), p. 34.

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