MICHAEL Taylor, who has a solo show, Attic Stories, at The Art Stable at Gold Hill Farm, Child Okeford, from 5th February to 5th March, has lived and worked in the village for more than 30 years and has known owner Kelly Ross since she opened the gallery in 2006.
He says he is particularly happy to be having this exhibition at The Art Stable, coinciding with his 70th birthday this year. It will be his first exhibition outside London for 30 years.
“All but one of the works in the show were created in my attic studio there, just a few hundred yards away, and it features in most of them, along with the objects and people familiar to me.
“I became so accustomed to this very special space, with its warped elm floor and quirky beamed walls that it developed into a kind of visual shorthand for me: a language I could manipulate instinctively and expressively for the compositions that evolved in it.
“After work it was a bonus to be able to walk out on to the nearby Iron Age fort of Hambledon Hill, whose high perspectives and ancient landscape acted as a perfect counterpoint to the claustrophobic intensity of the attic.”
Michael Taylor, one of the country’s finest portrait painters, has been working in oil more or less without a break since leaving Goldsmiths in 1973 and has exhibited widely over the years, both internationally and in London. His works are held by many public and private collections, including the National Portrait Gallery, London, the Holburne Museum, Bath, and the House of Lords art collection.
He has received a number of awards, including the NPG Portrait Award, the Holburne Contemporary Portrait Prize and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Changing Faces Award – he is an elected member of the society. Notable sitters have included crime fiction writer Baroness P D James, composer Sir John Tavener, jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard and classical guitarist Julian Bream.
He also admits to being creator (as Johannes van Hoytl the younger) of the fictional renaissance masterpiece Boy with Apple for Wes Anderson’s film The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Pictured: In Parenthesis; Three Tiered Table, both oil on canvas.