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Imogen Taylor: Glory Hole


Imogen Taylor, Hidden Agenda, 2014, acrylic on hessian, 160 x 130 cm

Imogen Taylor
Glory Hole

15 October - 22 November
Preview Wednesday 15 October 6-8pm


Michael Lett is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Imogen Taylor, her third solo exhibition with the gallery. Continuing her interest in balancing between abstraction and representation, these works carry the artist’s signature forms and colour palette although on a much larger scale than seen before. Taylor’s ongoing appreciation for a camp sensibility is apparent in this show as macho gesture of proportions; in Glory Hole size does matter.

Imogen Taylor’s works hold an ongoing conversation with histories of painting, both internationally and locally. References to historical movements of the 20th century, such as Futurism, Dada and Cubism, filter through her work. As large, nebulous movements, they are given more particular acknowledgment through references to the work of New Zealand painters and the histories of painting in this country. Nods to Tony Fomison, Philip Clairmont and Rita Angus create a dialogue about the lineage of painting in New Zealand that may often be considered unfashionable or irrelevant in contemporary art discourse.

Taylor’s revelry in what is off trend and what is mannered and ostentatious is also manifest in her material choices. Combining bright and ‘artificial’ colour with hessian canvases, she creates a juxtaposition of the organic and alien. This tension produces a sense of vulnerability that is humorous and awkward. Emphasising this are the human forms and suggestions of bodily functions - penetration, secretion and taction – that push through her layers of abstraction. The sensuality and potential sexuality in Taylor’s work is light yet enthralling. “Camp,” says Susan Sontag, “is a solvent of morality. It neutralizes moral indignation, sponsors playfulness.” In Glory Hole Imogen Taylor presents a world where erotics are arousing, not for their anonymity or discretion, but rather their resolute presence.



Imogen Taylor (b. 1985, Whangarei) graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts in 2010 and lives and works in Auckland. Recent exhibitions include Girls Abstraction, Hamish McKay Gallery, Wellington (group) 2014; From the Vault, Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland (group) 2014; New Paintings, Michael Lett, Auckland (solo) 2013; and Blow Hole, Kalimanrawlins, Melbourne (solo) 2013.

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[1] Sontag, Susan. Notes on ‘Camp', Against Interpretation and Other Essays. London: Penguin, 1966.

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