On View: July 17 - August 8, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, July 17, 7pm to 9pm
Civilian Art Projects announces CHAMPNEYS TAYLOR: Resident A.D. For his first solo exhibition with Civilian Art Projects, Taylor presents a suite of 11 abstract paintings and site-specific installation.
Art critic Dave Hickey said, “Painting isn’t dead, except as a major art. From now on, it will be a discourse of adepts, like jazz.” Of course, this conceit is arguable: Is painting dead? The question is asked every ten years or so, and it is always quickly followed by an answer that no, it is not dead; in fact, it is back. The cycle continues.
Champneys Taylor realizes he is an abstract painter in a cyclic age of conceptualist art. And he’s fine with that. As do most painters, he works with material and the push/pull of form, content, and color. In the painting, everything is possible, and yet the headspace of presence -- being fully with the material while in the act of painting -- is paramount.
According to the artist, “The ‘death of painting’ conversation surfaces often and increasingly in recent decades. To artists like me who consider painting primary to our practice, even while we know that to many art-world observers it is secondary or ‘for heads only’, painting can be viewed as zero-sum. Adapting Miller by way of Joplin (Janis, not Scott), painting is just another word, and it has nothing to lose in its pre-ordained loss.”
The airy palette of blue, yellow, purple, silver, and gold unites forms that billow or repeat, or both. The series, adeptly united by this palette, seems to ebb and flow and push and pull the viewer into and out of the surface. Yet beyond the surface tension in the works, there’s a comforting familiarity, such as looking up at the night sky or just spacing out and taking in fragments of one’s field of vision. The field, in this case, is abstracted, allowing a more intuitive interpretation of what is seen, versus what is felt or theorized.
“I see through the eyes of a painter: The petimenti-impasto-chiaroscuro, the raising of the curtain, and the drip. I etch video, I write my palette, I install interpretation. Painting functions through a procession of static markers of an inconclusive present. Painting involves multiple, successive application and removal of translucent color layers in order to discount and to re-iterate that which, in the act of painting, in the history of painting, has come before,” says Taylor.
Champneys Taylor was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1970. His work has been included in the Alternative Art Fair in Baltimore, MD; Pleasant Plains, Civilian Art Projects, the Katzen Museum at American University, and DC Arts Center in Washington, DC; Present Company in Brooklyn NY, and the McLean Project for the Arts in McLean, VA. In 2000, Taylor co-founded Decatur Blue, an artists' collective, studio, gallery and performance space in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC. Between 2000 and 2005 Decatur Blue put together exhibitions by local, national, and international artists. Between 2005 and 2007 Taylor showed his videos at Cynthia Broan, a now-defunct shotgun gallery in Chelsea, NYC. In October 2011 Taylor had his first solo show at District of Colombia Arts Center (DCAC). Taylor received his MA degree in 2004 from the New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education where he studied in New York and Venice. He received his BFA degree from the University of North Florida in 1987.