Taylor Davis’ work is “not about,” it is. It doesn’t represent, it presents. Her work is an invitation to look, not just with your eyes, but through your body. Though she utilizes the visual vocabulary of Minimalism in her spare sculptures and works on paper, Davis’ work is hardly minimal. Her selection of material is painterly—knotted pine for its insistent composition, dark walnut for its color, cut pages from an industrial farming catalog for its pixilated staccato information, and finally watercolor for its subtle, haunting, transient essence that acquiesces to her purpose. In addition, Davis is interested in the cultural associations of the materials she uses. Black walnut and pine have different monetary value, and are traditionally used to build very different forms. And the language and imagery of the agricultural catalogue, when taken out of context, points to an unrecognized matrix of production and maintenance.
Davis’ works are altered by the viewer’s perspective and the change of their body in space. On Slider (2011), a small wall sculpture of black walnut and oxidized black walnut plywood, a joined piece of firewood is glued flush to an otherwise pristine piece of black walnut plywood. This limb—off and below center—is suggestive of both a corporeal arm and one from a timepiece.
Taylor Davis, Slider, 2011
22 x 5 x 23 inches (width variable)
black walnut, black walnut plywood, wood
Courtesy of the artist