Michael E. Taylor, Traversing Parallels 

October 28, 2017 - May 12, 2018

Michael Taylor (American, born 1944) has been dedicating to art and education for over forty-seven years. Born in Lewisberg, Tennessee, Taylor initially studied ceramics, while working towards a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Tennessee State University. Studying ceramics honed Taylor intuitive sense of form, color, and design; skills which would be important to his glass career. 

To have even a brief conversation with artist Michael Taylor is to dive headfirst into a deep pool of scientific and intellectual inquiry. Taylor has always been an extremely analytic artist, responding with equal fervor to his intellectual encounters with scientific ideas, art history, philosophy, or current events.Whether inspired by formal quality of geometry, the Higgs boson particle, or the moral implications of artificial intelligence, Taylor’s work is ultimately about investigation.

Michael Taylor is widely-renowned for his cut and laminated glass works, geometric constructions, and fractal abstractions are inspired by everything from subatomic particles to music. He first used glass while attending a workshop at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. He was struck by the material’s heat and spontaneity, a dynamic opposite from the deliberate and extended processes for firing and shaping ceramics. Taylor was part of the first generation of artists to learn from the founders of the Studio Glass movement. His artistic career has been intertwined with decades as a university professor, including a more than twenty-year tenure as a professor in the School for American Crafts at  Rochester Institute of Technology. His career in academia made it possible for Taylor to experiment and explore new ideas through his sculpture, instead of feeling pressure to repeat popular works for monetary sales. The academic setting also allowed Taylor to continue to explore scientific, philosophical, and artistic ideas.

Traversing Parallels encapsulates Taylor’s passion for glass and his unquenchable enthusiasm for inquiry. Through his artistic investigations, Taylor’s work invites you to utilize your own scientific-like observations to analyze how his work reflects on the implications of a rapidly changing world. His work is both triumphant and cautionary, simultaneously celebrating technological breakthroughs and worrying about their implications. By using glass to make these theoretical connections, Taylor’s work inspires contemplation of social and scientific issues, and continues to take the material of glass into new expressive terrain.

 

Michael Taylor_Scorpion     Michael Taylor_Code     Michael Taylor_Particle

 

Image Credits:

  1. Michael Estes Taylor (American, born 1944). Scorpion, 2013. Glass; 30 × 30 × 10 in. (76.2 × 76.2 × 25.4 cm). Collection of the artist. Photo courtesy of the artist.
  2. Michael Estes Taylor (American, born 1944). Artificial Intelligence Codes/Rosetta Stone, 2014. Glass and wood; 36 x 12 x 14 in. (91.4 × 30.5 × 35.6 cm). Collection of the artist. Photo courtesy of the artist.
  3. Michael Estes Taylor (American, born 1944). God Particle, Higgs Boson, Suspend in Time and Space for Eternity, 2013. 12 × 18 in. (30.5 × 45.7 cm). Collection of the artist. Photo courtesy of the artist.

 

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