michael e. taylor, traversing parallels
october 28, 2017 - may 13, 2018
Michael Taylor (American, born 1944) has been dedicated to art and education for over 47 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's 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 analytical 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 that 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 20-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.
Michael E. Taylor: Traversing Parallels encapsulated Taylor’s passion for glass and his unquenchable enthusiasm for inquiry. Through his artistic investigations, Taylor’s work invited visitors to utilize their 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.
Organized by Michael E. Taylor, Ltd. Sponsored by c89.5FM.