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Image courtesy of the artist

Rodney Taylor

American, 1966-2019

Rodney Taylor first studied illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY, and later studied painting at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture before completing his studies at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard, Annandale-on-Hudson. From 1991 to 1999, Taylor worked as a teaching artist with the New York City Housing Authority, an indelible experience that influenced his works, like Untitled, Home Series #2 and Untitled, Home Series #3, that register a concern for those who lack places to live and picture the home as a fraught and fractured space.

It is impossible now to confront the fragility inherent in Taylor’s work without acknowledging the fragility and vulnerability of life itself. When he passed away in December of 2019, he left his wife, his children, and our entire region with his unparalleled legacy of painting but also aching from his absence. Those of us lucky enough to spend time with the artist know that there was probably no one more knowledgeable about paint—about its physical properties, its limitations, and its endless capacity to stir passion—in all of Buffalo. He, too, was preoccupied with historical context as he crafted his paintings and would spend days and even weeks researching images, considering philosophy, and contemplating the full scope of his content before putting paint to paper or canvas. Then, often in a flurry of activity, he would paint until he was exhausted.

In addition to his passion for and extensive knowledge of contemporary art, Taylor had a great respect for the Albright-Knox. His wife, artist Annette Daniels Taylor has commented, "He always said the Knox belonged to him because it belonged to everybody. He just felt so comfortable walking in and just absorbing everything that was there. It was his church, really."

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