The Drawings of Al Taylor at The Morgan Library & Museum, February 21 – May 24, 2020

The Morgan Library & Museum is proud to announce a presentation of drawings by painter, sculptor, and draftsman Al Taylor (1948–1999). The Drawings of Al Taylor explores the artist’s lyrical and witty compositions inspired by banal objects and everyday situations. Driven by curiosity and a sense of humor, Taylor drew maps of pet stains, imagined puddles hanging out to dry, and rendered elegant still lifes of tin cans suspended by wires. During his relatively short career, Taylor produced more than five thousand drawings, in which he combined technical skills, Old Master virtuosity, and graphic systems such as charts and diagrams. The exhibition at the Morgan shines a new light on Taylor’s practice, highlighting the artist’s distinctive draftsmanship through works spanning the mid-1970s to the late 1990s. The first U.S. museum exhibition devoted to this subject, The Drawings of Al Taylor comprises nearly eighty drawings and twenty sketchbooks, including many drawings that have never been shown before.” — The Morgan Library & Museum

Al Taylor, Untitled (McGrath) 1982, Estate of the Artist

Al Taylor (1948–1999). Untitled (McGrath), 1982. Acrylic paint on printed magazine pages mounted on paper. The Morgan Library & Museum, New York. Gift of Debbie Taylor, 2019.121. Photography by Janny Chiu. © 2019 The Estate of Al Taylor

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Al Taylor (1948–1999). No title, ca. 1985. Acrylic paint on printed magazine page. Private collection. Photography Glenn Steigelman. © 2019 The Estate of Al Taylor

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Al Taylor (1948–1999). No title, 1988. Watercolor, ink, and graphite on paper. Aaron and Barbara Levine. Photography by Ben Cohen. © 2019 The Estate of Al Taylor

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Al Taylor (1948–1999). Hanging & Folding Study, 1991. Graphite, gouache, and correction fluid on paper. Collection Debbie Taylor. Photography by Glenn Steigelman. © 2019 The Estate of Al Taylor

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Al Taylor (1948–1999). Pea Passing Device, 1992. Gouache, colored ink and graphite with collage of a photographic print on paper. Collection of Doug Woodham and Dalya Inhaber. Photography Glenn Steigelman. © 2019 The Estate of Al Taylor

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Al Taylor (1948–1999). Hanging Puddles, 1992. Gouache and graphite on paper. Private collection. Photography by Glenn Steigelman. © 2019 The Estate of Al Taylor

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Al Taylor (1948–1999). Greek Puddles (with Fish Parts), 1992. Gouache and ink on paper. Private collection, London; Promised gift, British Museum, Department of Prints & Drawings. Photography Glenn Steigelman. © 2019 The Estate of Al Taylor

Taylor, Al, 1948-1999, The Peabody Group #29  1992, recto, 2011.7

Al Taylor (1948–1999). The Peabody Group #29, 1992. Watercolor, ink, coffee, graphite, colored pencil, and ball point pen on paper. The Morgan Library & Museum, Gift of the Modern and Contemporary Collectors Committee, 2011.7. Photography by Janny Chiu. © 2019 The Estate of Al Taylor

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Al Taylor (1948–1999). Untitled (Tide Tab), ca.1993. Grease pencil, wax crayon, graphite, and gouache on paper. The Estate of Al Taylor. Photography by Glenn Steigelman. © 2019 The Estate of Al Taylor

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Al Taylor (1948–1999). Untitled (Plant Studies), 1998 Watercolor pencil and graphite on paper. Private collection. Photography by Glenn Steigelman. © 2019 The Estate of Al Taylor

Taylor, Al, 1948-1999, Untitled (100% Hawaiian), 1994,  recto, 2019.53

Al Taylor (1948–1999). Untitled (100% Hawaiian), 1994. Gouache and graphite on paper. The Morgan Library & Museum, Gift of Hamish Parker, 2019.53. Photography by Graham Haber. © 2019 The Estate of Al Taylor

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Al Taylor (1948–1999). Bondage Duck Study, 1998. Graphite, ink, acrylic mica mortar, colored pencil, grease pencil, and wax crayon on paper. Collection Debbie Taylor. Photography by Glenn Steigelman. © 2019 The Estate of Al Taylor

The Drawings of Al Taylor is curated by Isabelle Dervaux, Acquavella Curator of Modern and Contemporary Drawings at the Morgan.

Dervaux said, “Al Taylor’s original contribution to the art of the 1980s and 1990s can be summed up as a combination of virtuosity, humor, precision, and nonchalance that should be a revelation to many visitors.” 

Images courtesy The Morgan Library & Museum.