Bender Gallery is pleased to present “Decoding the Lexicon”, a solo exhibition of Austyn Taylor’s figurative ceramic sculpture which is illustrated with graphite drawings of letters, numbers, symbols, lines and patterns. In this series of rocking horses and ducks, Taylor aims to create sculptural decoding devices for the complexity of language. A notable emerging artist, Taylor is influenced by animated imagery from her American 1990s youth which is evident in her hand-built figures. The work is surreal, playful and a bit devious. Taylor’s sculptures are an enigma - a puzzle to be solved - designed to bring the viewer to a new awareness of their serious and fantastic perceptions of reality. The exhibition runs through April 30 during regular business hours.
In this series, Taylor’s pieces are hand-built porcelain or stoneware that is fired once and is then coated with white paint. While drawing, Taylor listens to lectures by modern philosophers such as Robert Sapolsky, Terrance McKenna, David Bohm and Alan Watts. She sketches the surface of each piece for about seven hours with 2B mechanical pencils, and then draws with ebony pencils for up to ninety hours. Finally, the sculpture is sprayed with sealant to set the graphite. The result is what seems at first glance to be a toy-like sculpture of a rocking horse or duck. But upon closer inspection the viewer discovers intricate detail in the graphics and a metaphysical map of numbers, letters, lines and symbols.
It is interesting to note that Taylor has been showing paintings and drawings since 2009. It was not until after earning her MFA in Ceramics at Alfred University, that she began exhibiting sculpture. She also has a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Illustration and Philosophy, and a MST in Art Education. Taylor’s work has been included in many exhibitions across the US and abroad, she has exhibited at SOFA Expo art fair with Bender Gallery in 2017 and 2018. She has held numerous residencies in the US, China, Denmark and India.