ANGUS TAYLOR

BIOGRAPHY

ANGUS TAYLOR

(b. 1970, Pretoria, South Africa)

 

WORK

 

“You can only write poetry in a language you know.” – Angus Taylor

 

When Angus Taylor went to New York in 2001, he had a revelation about what it was to be a South African. He was from a world very far from this huge eclectic metropolis where you could buy anything and everything has been named and recorded. He was from a place of bright sun and dark shadow, where the wilderness still lies just under the surface of everything and much of our history, landscape and people remains unspoken, unexplored. The disorder he lives in is a source of inspiration, and one reason why many of his works are ‘incomplete’, cracked, caught between regeneration and decay.

 

Partly for financial reasons, he started making work out of local stone and earth. He sources Belfast granite and red Jasper and uses the orange earth of the Witwatersand, which he binds with an alumina-based fondue cement. He has also been known to use perishable materials like thatch. Often if he makes a work in a particular location, he will use the material from that environment. His use of these materials soon became fundamental to the meaning of the work. The history of the earth – geologically and historically – speaks through the images he creates. When he uses the iron ore that comes from meteorites, or rock that comes from volcanic ash, he connects this with the meaning and content of the work. He has even been known to use ancient techniques for binding earth, using animal blood, egg and lime.

 

The centrality of the artist has become increasingly displaced in Taylor’s work. He likes to say he is not the source but the conduit. The artist is a craftsman who speaks through the material but who also allows the material to speak through him. The granite he uses is estimated to be three billion years old – half the age of the earth. He also often plays with scale as another way of displacing not only the artist but the viewer. His large figures reduce the adult viewer to the scale they last experienced when they themselves were toddlers. Although the scale is distorted, it remains within our human experience – even if we have almost forgotten it.

 

Taylor also works in his own studio and foundry, where he employs around thirty-five people. His staff work on his own sculptures but also cast works by other prominent sculptors including Rina Stutzer, Deborah Bell and Norman Catherine. His staff have been working closely alongside him and have a great deal of ‘tacit’ knowledge, which is knowledge acquired from experience, from ‘doing’. Together with his workforce, he also builds his own equipment – improvising and developing new techniques that enable him to work with his materials in new ways. He works communally with his staff, the material, the context in which he finds himself – and finds images that are bigger and more resonant than the sum of their parts.   

 

 

BIOGRAPHY

 

Angus Taylor is known in South Africa and abroad for his powerful, often large-scale interventions. These are often works of sculpture, characterized by outstanding craftsmanship. Taylor is a graduate of the University of Pretoria, which bestowed an Alumni Laureate on him in 2005.

Taylor currently teaches part-time at this university and also acted as advisor to the Tshwane University of Technology. In 1997, he founded his own undertaking, Dionysus Sculpture Works, where he casts his own and other sculptors’ work, and nurtures the talent of young and developing artists.  In addition to numerous solo and group shows, Taylor is predominantly involved in national and local government as well as private sector large-scale commissions. From this have resulted, among others, the Solomon Mahlangu statue in Mamelodi, the statue of Chief Tshwane in front of the Pretoria City Hall as well as the work commemorating Brenda Fassie in Newtown JHB.

Characteristically, Taylor currently incorporates large pieces of granite in his work, which he sources from locations such as Belfast and Rustenburg.

 

 

CV

 

EXHIBITIONS

 

2017

Art Angels Africa Auction, London, UK

In the Middle of it, Everard Read, London

 

2015  

Capital: Present, group exhibition, Fried Contemporary, Pretoria

Gran Cavallo group-exhibition, World Art Day, Pretoria Arts Association

Drawing exhibition, Fried Contemporary, Pretoria

 

2014  

Jozi Site Specific, Emmarentia Dam, Johannesburg

Nirox Winter Sculpture Fair, group exhibition, Nirox sculpture park, Cradle of Humankind

Tokara Summer Showcase, group exhibition, Tokara Wine Estate, Stellenbosch

July Showcase, group exhibition, Is Art Gallery, Franschhoek

30 x 30 met word en beeld, group exhibition, Breytenback Gallery, Wellington

Joburg Art Fair, Everard Read, Johannesburg

Cool Capital, DIY Guerilla Biennale, Pretoria

Syncopation, group exhibition, Clover Aardklop Arts Festival, Potchefstroom

From Explicit to Implicit, solo exhibition, Everard Read, Johannesburg

 

2013  

Heavy metal, Southern Guild Group exhibition, Woodstock foundry, Cape Town.

Hiernamaals, Group land art exhibition, Plettenburg Bay.

3 Avenue Marina, IS Art, private group exhibition, Franschhoek.

After the Rainbow Nation, Nirox sculpture park, Cradle of Humankind.

Engage, group exhibition, Pretoria art association, Pretoria.

Group exhibition, William Humphreys art gallery, Kimberly

DSW, group exhibition, Pretoria Art association, Pretoria

Centenary exhibition, Everard Read, Johannesburg

Re-envisioning the Anglo-Boer War exhibition, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein.

Joburg Art Fair, Everard Read, Johannesburg

WWF auction, Everard Read, Johannesburg

Sydney contemporary art fair, Sydney, Australia

Centenary exhibition, Everard Read, Cape Town

 

2012  

The Rainbow Nation, Contemporary South African Sculpture, Lange Voorhout Museum Beelden aan zee, Den Haag.

The Rainbow Nation, Contemporary South African Sculpture, Museum Beelden aan zee, Den Haag.

The Winter Show, Group show, Everard Read, Johannesburg.

The Winter Show, Group show, Everard Read, Cape Town.

Joburg Art Fair, Everard Read, Johannesburg.

 

2011  

Bibliography of material, Everard Read, Cape Town (solo)

Angus Taylor & Jacqueline Crewe-Brown, Is Art, Franschhoek

Site Specific group show, Plettenberg Bay

Room mates with Paul Boulitreau, Potchefstroom and UJ art gallery

Dislodge (loswikkel), Angus Taylor and Rina Stutzer, UJ art gallery, Johannesburg

The horse show, Nirox Foundation, Johannesburg

Joburg Art Fair, Everard Read, Johannesburg

Twenty: Stellenbosch, Smac Art, Stellenbosch

Tokara Delicatessen, Franschhoek

Dimensions, Fried contemporary, Pretoria

 

2010  

New Work, CIRCA on Jellicoe, Johannesburg (solo)

Re-visiting the Aardklop Exhibition, CIRCA on Jellicoe, Johannesburg (solo)

‘Klont. Dialoog met Grond’, Aardklop, Potchefstroom (solo)

Twenty: South African Sculpture of the Last Two Decades, Nirox Sculpture Park, Johannesburg

Divisions: Aspects of South African Art 1948 – 2010, Smac, Stellenbosch

Games People Play, Fried Contemporary, Pretoria

University of Pretoria Visual Art Staff Exhibition, Fried Contemporary, Pretoria

Joburg Art Fair with Everard Read, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg

Sculpture Garden, Opening exhibition, IS Art, Franschhoek

Group show, Trent Art, Pretoria

Artists to Save the Environment, Trent Art, Pretoria

 

2009  

Great South African Nude Exhibition, Everard Read, Johannesburg

Dorsiduct, 47 Market Street, George

Joburg Art Fair with Everard Read, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg

 

2008  

Momentary Permanence, Everard Read, Johannesburg (solo)

Joburg Art Fair with Everard Read, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg

 

2007  

The DAVID Exhibition curated by Lisa Essers, Michelangelo Towers, Johannesburg

Decadence, Grand Provence Gallery, Franschhoek

Africa, Cork Street Gallery, London

 

2006  

Deduct, University of Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg (solo)

Deduct, Grand Provence Gallery, Francshhoek (solo)

Deduct, Campus Gallery, Potchefstroom (solo)

Corpus Colossus, Godart, Johannesburg
Creative Creatures, Aardklop, Potchefstroom

 

2005  

Corporeal, Art Space, Johannesburg (solo)

Funky Functional, Gordart, Johannesburg
Porn Again, Merely Mortal, Johannesburg
Absa Atelier national art competition exhibition, ABSA, Johannesburg
Group exhibition, Oliewenhuis Museum, Bloemfontein

 

2004  

Recent work, Dorpstraat Gallery, Stellenbosch (solo)

Off the record - on the record, Aardklop Art Festival

Off the record - on the record, Gordart, Johannesburg

DSW exhibition, Gordart @ The Thompson Gallery, Johannesburg
Opening exhibition, Art.co.za Gallery, Johannesburg
Angus Taylor & Jacqueline Crewe-Brown, Wizards Gallery, Hyde Park Corner, Johannesburg
Cow Parade for CHOC, Sotherby’s and Stephan Welz auction, Johannesburg

 

2003  

Barefoot, baggage free, Mind’s-I, Pretoria (solo)

Barefoot, baggage free, Bronze Age Sculpture House, Simonstown (solo)
Dawid’s choice, Dorpstraat Gallery, Stellenbosch
Opening exhibition, Bronze Age Sculpture House, Simonstown
St. Valentine’s, Mind’s-I, Pretoria
Group exhibition, Gallery 88, Sasolburg
Opening exhibition, Gordart @ The Thompson Gallery, Johannesburg

 

2002  

Drawing conclusions, curated by Diane Victor, National Art Association, Pretoria

Sasol Wax group show, WAM, Sasolburg
A show of angels, The Open Window Contemporary Gallery, Pretoria

 

2000  

Africana & other baggage, Gallery 88, Sasolburg (solo)

 

1999  

Africana & other baggage, Open Window Contemporary Gallery, Pretoria (1st solo)

 

PUBLIC ART

 

2016  

Think Africa Sculpture Commission for Rand Merchant Bank (Upcoming)

Sculpture Commission for University of Johannesburg (Upcoming)

Sculpture Commission for City Property (Upcoming)

 

2015  

Longview, carved Belfast Granite, Gordons Bay

Reflective Resonance, Cast bronze & Belfast Granite, Klein Dassenberg Wine Estate, Franschhoek.

Belated wake (floating heads), rammed earth, cement fondu, stone, Namibia

 

2014  

Untitled, mixed media sculpture, Waterfall development, Midrand (upcoming).

Untitled, mixed media sculpture, Kyalami mall, Pretoria (upcoming).

Lady on a donkey, Hoërskool Waterkloof, Pretoria

 

2013  

Untitled, mixed media installation, Hatfield Growthpoint properties, Pretoria.

Adam Kok III, Life size Bronze, Heritage project, Pretoria.

Untitled, mixed media sculpture, Northcliff square, Johannesburg.

Untitled, mixed media installation, Cradlestone Mall, Krugersdorp.

 

2012  

Layers of mind, mixed media sculpture, OBZ Square, University of Cape Town.

Van hier tot daar, Permanent slate installation, University of the Freestate, Bloemfontein.

Layers of Being, The Rainbow Nation, Contemporary South African Sculpture, Lange Voorhout Museum Beelden aan zee, Den Haag.

Layers of mind and metal, Permanent mixed media installation, Newcastle Mall, Newcastle.

A crossing of tangible truths, Mixed media installation, Platinum square, Rustenburg.

Pixley Ka Seme, Life-size bronze, Heritage project, Bloemfontein.

 

2011  

Grounded, Rammed Earth and Bronze cast, Eldo square, Eldoraign, Pretoria

Grounded, Ungrounded I, Bronze cast, Lynnwood Bridge, Pretoria

Grounded, Ungrounded II, Bronze cast, Lynnwood Bridge, Pretoria

 

2010  

Homage to Hermes, permanent slate installation, Apple Mac Head Quarters, Johannesburg

Homage to Hermes, permanent slate installation, Damme, Belgium.

Homage to Hermes, permanent slate installation, Whistler, Vancouver, Canada

Hier, a permanent slate installation at Ellerman House, Bantrey Bay, Cape Town

Little Mamma Africa, permanent slate installation at Attreridgeville Super Stadium in conjunction with Dionysus sculpture works

Drift, a biodegradable installation for Aardklop, Potchefstroom Botanical Gardens

The One Brother and the Dark Cloud, Cast bronze & stainless steel, Corner of Eastwood and             Park Street (by Loftus Versfeld Stadium), local Pretoria

Adrift, granite head at Waterkloof Corner Shopping Centre, Pretoria

 

2009  

Momentary Permanence, Belfast granite and bronze figures at Brooklyn bridge, Pretoria

 

2008  

Centenary Sculptures, Granite and Bronze cast, Merensky Library walkway, University of Pretoria.

Three Granite Figures, Granite, University of Pretoria

 

2007

Co-presence (Apollonian-Dionysian), Steel and stainless steel cast, Irene Village Mall, Centurion

 

AWARDS

 

2010  

Aardklop Festival artist

 

2005  

University of Pretoria, Alumni Laureate

 

1994  

The Eduardo Villa Best Sculpture Student (University of Pretoria)

 

1994  

1st Prize - PPC Young Sculptors Award

 

COLLECTIONS

 

Sasol

Rand Merchant Bank

Pretoria Art Museum

University of Pretoria

Oliewenhuis Museum

University of the Freestate

Ellerman House

Saronsberg Wine Estate

The Marvelous Collection

Tokara Wine Estate

First Rand Merchant Bank

 

Also in many other national and international corporate collections as well as private collections