LOS ANGELES ARTIST Henry Taylor is bringing California cool to the High Line next month with a massive mural. Debuting March 17, “the floaters” is a self-portrait featuring the sunglass-wearing artist leisurely lounging in an enchanting blue pool. Taylor is also featured in the Whitney Biennial, which opens the same day at the nearby Whitney Museum of American Art.

Featuring a range of subjects, from his family and friends, to celebrities and random people that capture his interest, Taylor’s color-blocked portraits convey authenticity and multi-layered insights into humanity. His “compositions evoke compassion and a sense of shared space, setting the viewer in close conversation with those pictured.”

Henry Taylor’s “compositions evoke compassion and a sense of shared space, setting the viewer in close conversation with those pictured.”

His first public art work, “the floaters” depicts Taylor with a friend and rod-like floating devices in a Palm Springs pool. The mural’s title was inspired by the name of the 1970s R&B group from Detroit. Installed on the wall of a building overlooking the High Line at West 22nd Street, Kerry James Marshall presented a mural on the same facade in 2015.

The High Line is currently reviewing proposals by 12 artists for two monumental installations that will be presented atop a new plinth in the elevated park. African American artists Charles Gaines and Simone Leigh are among the shortlisted artists whose concepts are being considered for the inaugural commission, expected to be unveiled next year.

Providing a window into his West Coast world, Taylor’s mural is on view through March 2018. In the announcement, Cecilia Alemani, chief curator of the High Line said: “Through his portraits, Taylor brings us into his own personal circle in Los Angeles of neighbors, friends, and idols. His use of color and method of arranging shapes elevate the everyday into another majestic realm. With the floaters, Taylor brings a slice of laidback West Coast living to the bustling streets of New York City.” CT


TOP IMAGE: HENRY TAYLOR, “the floaters,” 2017 (rendering). | A High Line Commission. On view March 2017–March 2018.Courtesy of the artist, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo, and Friends of the High Line. © Henry Taylor


“Henry Taylor” was published to coincide with the artist’s show at MoMA PS1 in New York. Taylor was in residence at the museum for months preceding the show, creating the paintings that appeared in the exhibitions, portraits of ordinary and extraordinary people.


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