Taylor Daviss persistent sculptural engagement with the issue of orientation utilizes form, space, subject, identity, place, material, and language to make art that consistently calls what is known into question.
The Boston-‐based artists new exhibition at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
, If you steal a horse, and let him go, he'll take you to the barn you stole him from (named after a quotation from a short story by William Gass), points to her restless desire for orientationand returnqualities inherent in both the conceptual and physical aspects of her work.
This exhibition presents four separate, but interrelated, groups of objects: text cylinders, built forms, collages, and the most recent shaped canvas pieces that combine drawing, painting, and collage. Davis is a dedicated reader of prose and poetry, a fact that has led to the creation of works that use literary quotations as both form and content, such as five freestanding, bent-‐wood cylinders, each with a hand-‐painted sentence or phrase wrapped around its exterior surface.
Richard Klein, The Aldrichs exhibitions director and curator of the exhibition said, Words are an invitation to read, but the viewer is forced into a dance of circumnavigation in order to successfully translate what has been written. Sculpture, by definition, is a three-‐dimensional experience, but typically we determine the nature of most objects by putting together the information offered by only one or two vantage points. Daviss cylinders demand the viewers consideration from multiple directions, and a work such as SOME HAE, which uses a version of the Selkirk Grace, a traditional Scottish prayer from the seventeenth century that is often attributed to poet Robert Burns, requires at least six orbital journeys for complete comprehension.
Taylor Davis was born in Palm Springs, CA, in 1959, and lives and works in Boston. She has taught at Massachusetts College of Art and Design since 1999, been co-‐chair of the Sculpture Department at Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College since 2003, and was visiting faculty at Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University in 2008. She received her Diploma of Fine Arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, BS of Ed from Tufts University, and MFA from Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. Daviss work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; White Columns, New York; Austin Museum of Art, TX; Office Baroque, Antwerp, Belgium; and UTS Gallery, Sydney, Australia. Davis was included in the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial in 2004. She has received grants from the Radcliffe Fellowship (201011); Anonymous Was a Woman (2009); Association of International Art Critics Award (2007 and 2002); St. Botolph Foundation Grant (2003); and Institute of Contemporary Art/Artist Prize (2001). Daviss work has been reviewed by Artforum, The New York Times, Art in America, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, among other publications. Her work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, and the Fogg Art Museum.