"From Realism to Abstraction: The Art of J.B. Taylor"
Adriana A. Davies, "From Realism to Abstraction: The Art of J.B. Taylor," University of Calgary Press.
From Realism to Abstraction: The Art of J.B. Taylor, Adriana A. Davies, University of Calgary Press
J.B. Taylor was an accomplished realist painter as demonstrated by mountain scenes from what author Adriana A. Davies calls Taylor’s sublime period. But around 1958, Taylor started to transition to abstraction, and these later works capture not just the visual appearance of the Rockies, but also a stronger sense of their power.
Taylor began to gouge and scrape his canvases as he discovered the role that texture could play in evoking rugged vistas. “I believe that this freed him from his earlier representational work,” Davies writes, “and enabled him to see not only the surface of things but also a deeper spirituality suggested by the age of the rocks, glaciers, and icefields that he painted.”
Taylor, in the final decade of his life, painted gripping images of glaciers, including Columbia #II, chosen for the book’s cover. Working by then in acrylics, he created a work composed of a large off-white base topped by a narrow band of deep blue from which an ice wall glows with ethereal light. It captures both the scale of the landscape and the scope of geological history. “Climbing among the glaciers, you become aware of time,” Taylor wrote before his death in 1970.
This is the first book to focus on Taylor, who taught at the University of Alberta for many years.