Kristine Taylor

Spatial Smarts
April 29th- May 1, 2011

WORK Gallery is pleased to present Spatial Smarts, a solo exhibition encompassing over 6 years of the paintings, drawings, and sculptures by the artist Kristine Taylor. In this extensive and varied body of abstract work, Taylor portrays scenarios of control and release arising from short and intense physical, psychological, and emotional events. Taylor, a former competitive diver and Southern California native, draws on these potent memories of athletic performance, the peculiarities of southwestern space and light, architectural features and the SoCal lifestyle to create an artistic vocabulary that is both poetically gestural and coolly diagrammatic.

Elements of the introvertedly energetic, touchstone painting Bust, Taylor’s “modular protagonist” – is evident in every work made after it. The rough physicality of the Conté Crayon and charcoal skid marks in Bust unsettle the polite sand and robin’s egg blue colored candy stripes. Energy surges vertically, ever higher, exciting but also frightening, as this movement seems to threaten the entire structure. 

Bust’s most essential and enduring feature is line, which here is synonymous with force. As theorized by Wassily Kandisky, “the line is the product of a… living force”, with the trajectory of a line dependent on a singular force, or alternating oppositional forces. The forces that exist in Taylor’s work come from within, drawn from emotive experiences that are compressed into bottle-like forms and rigorously geometric planes. Moments of tension are inducted into a diagrammatic process that isolates them, and further dramatizes them in shallow, pictorial space. Lines circumscribe the shapes, delineating volume, attempting to contain while simultaneously expand. 

A bright palette and the cheeky titles such as "Suckle, Slap!, and Woosh", are counterbalances to the discomforting feeling of being in a constant state of instability.   For Taylor, flux is not merely theatrical; it is cyclical, and an inherent aspect of physical existence. There is feeling of tenuous control in "Shoots and Ladders", where the figure is derived from a Mobius Band, yoga “plank” pose, and the striping of swimming lanes. Similarly striped fabric is tautly pulled across a steel rack for the floor piece Cot, holding it in a bodily shape. Dribbles of pink ooze from the "Squirt’s" tip as pressures build, while in Woosh, a structure has reached its breaking point, sending its crown soaring joyously upwards. 

Construction, explosion, and reconstruction are part of an process that Taylor has experienced over and over, as an athlete and artist. Methodical repetition and whole body and mind dedication to a gesture or movement alters an individual’s physiology and psychology. The artworks in Spatial Smarts are not literal transcriptions of an experience; they are the experience of the experience of an experience. 


Spatial Smarts installation view

This exhibition was part of the WORK Gallery solo exhibition program. For six months, April through August 2011, WORK Gallery executed an ambitious series of solo exhibitions, mounting two solo shows per month. Each exhibition was accompanied by an artist talk with a guest speaker, often from another profession leading, to encourage new ideas, and cross-disciplinary discussion.