Michael Taylor

Attic Stories

5 February - 5 March 2022

Having lived and worked in Child Okeford for over 30 years, I am particularly happy to be having this exhibition at The Art Stable, having known Kelly since she opened the gallery in 2006.  All but one of the works in the show were created in my attic studio there, just a few hundred yards away, and it features in most of them, along with the objects and people familiar to me. I became so accustomed to this very special space, with its warped elm floor and quirky beamed walls that it developed into a kind of visual shorthand for me: a language I could manipulate instinctively and expressively for the compositions that evolved in it. After work it was a bonus to be able to walk out on to the nearby Iron Age fort of Hambledon Hill, whose high perspectives and ancient landscape acted as a perfect counterpoint to the claustrophobic intensity of the attic.

Coinciding as it does with my 70th birthday, and being situated in the heart of this lovely area, The Art Stable is an especially appropriate venue for this, my first gallery show outside central London for over 30 years.

'Because he works slowly and concentratedly on a single picture at a time, the paintings mark the passage of time within themselves and are a record of the infinitesimal changes in the artist himself who is, as are we all, subject to change and decay. Moreover the paintings do not simply record what is seen, but also what might be seen with the inner eye. They represent thoughts and feelings that are not visible ..... Taylor's paintings are not for the ten second viewer. They are for the individual who is prepared to let them enter his bloodstream, who will return again and again to savour the slow release quality of these remarkable paintings.'

Mary Rose Beaumont

Michael has been painting his thoughtful and carefully composed oils more or less without a break since leaving Goldsmiths in 1973 and has exhibited widely over the years, both internationally and in London.  His works are held by many public and private collections, including the National Portrait Gallery, London, the Holburne Museum, Bath, and the House of Lords art collection. He has received a number of awards, including the NPG Portrait Award, the Holburne Contemporary Portrait Prize and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Changing Faces Award, of which society he is an elected member. Notable sitters have included crime fiction writer Baroness P D James (NPG), composer Sir John Tavener (NPG), jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard ( Holburne Museum, Bath), classical guitarist Julian Bream (NPG) and Lord Falconer (as Lord Chancellor, House of Lords collection). He also occasionally admits to being creator (as Johannes van Hoytl the younger) of the fictional renaissance masterpiece Boy with Apple for Wes Anderson's film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Michael has lived and worked in Dorset for over 40 years.

In Parenthesis
oil on canvas
61 x 66 cm

Petrified Clock with oil can
oil on canvas
61 x 41 cm

Copper Basket with Fruit
oil on canvas
72 x 51 cm

Toppled Machine
oil on canvas
71 x 51 cm

Attic Scene with Grave Goods
oil on canvas
115 x 76 cm

Self Portrait in memory of my Mother
pencil on paper
54 x 43 cm (framed)