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Rodney Taylor: Impure Abstraction

Feb 27 - May 10 2014

UB Art Gallery

This survey exhibition of Rodney Taylor’s paintings from the mid-1990s to the present day explores how the artist employs abstraction and metaphor to convey the experience of contemporary urban life and societal trauma. Produced through a dense combination of muted and lurid pigments mixed with clay, Taylor’s peeling and cracking surfaces are like human skin, worn sidewalks, or arid deserts. City streets, windows, crisscrossing tree limbs, or prison bars are frequent structuring elements in his work and he uses these abstracted grids to communicate the contrasting experiences of barriers and movement, as well as the interplay between lived realities and the interior imagination. His canvases and paper drawings are often exposed and vulnerable in places where the support is stained or left completely raw. Collage elements like old drawings or candy bar wrappers, shredded bits of the real world, often become ensnared in his painterly sagas. In the Middle Passage series from the mid-1990s bodies missing a variety of limbs emerge from somewhere deep inside the canvas. Drawn lines of tumbling comic book characters and other figurative elements tag the surface in his Hero series, sharing space with large amorphous forms that coalesce into human heads and reclining figures before they loose their tenuous grasp on figuration and recede back into an all-consuming abstraction.

Buffalo-based painter Rodney Taylor has exhibited internationally. His work is in gallery, private, and museum collections, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the collection of Bill and Camille Cosby. Educated at the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, Taylor was awarded the Camille Cosby Fellowship, and then attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He was a Milton Avery School of the Arts Fellow at Bard College.

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The UB Art Gallery is located in the Center for the Arts on the North Campus just north of the I-290 on Millersport Highway. Traveling east or west on the I-290 take exit 5B to Millersport Highway North. Turn onto the campus at the Coventry entrance. As you enter the campus, the Center for the Arts is a high gabled white building directly ahead of you.

After 3 PM weekdays and on weekends, parking is free and a permit is not required. During all other times, guests must park in metered spaces, visitor parking lots, or obtain a parking permit from UB Art Gallery staff. In order to obtain a parking permit, temporarily park in the circle in front of the Center for the Arts and see a gallery attendant inside.

The UB Art Gallery is funded by the UB College of Arts and Sciences, the Visual Arts Building Fund, and the Seymour H. Knox Foundation Fine Arts Fund.