Brian Taylor

Portraits & Animalia

20 March – 1 May


We are delighted to present a remarkable body of sculpture and rare drawings from the renowned sculptor Brian Taylor. Born in 1935, Taylor was continually fascinated by human and animal forms and are the basis of this exhibition. Joined by drawings from Naum Gabo’s studio, this collection is indicative of Taylor’s unparalleled observation of animated volume.

Brian Taylor spent his childhood in a working-class area of Surrey, fascinated by natural history and perpetually drawing. He entered the Slade School of Art in 1954 having spent time at Epsom and Ewell School of Art and Crafts and before that Cheam School of Art. During Taylor’s second year at the Slade Henry Moore was to visit a friend teaching at the school. Moore’s praise for Taylor’s independent vision marked a ‘turning point in the way his work was perceived by the school’. It is said that Taylor established an immediate rapport with Moore, saying that the ingenious sculptor was a “Yorkshire man who spoke to me directly”. One a living legend and the other a novice, the pair found companionship through their mutual interest in the formal power of early sculpture.

Taylor’s interest in sculpting animal form has pervaded his work ever since and lively oxen, stoic bulls or his lithe dog Lilie are rendered with the same frank, clear-eyed affection.