Henry Taylor

Hauser & Worth, Somerset. Opening day 13th April. 2021

I have been taken to Somerset to see Henry Taylor’s new exhibition at Hauser & Worth in Somerset. Early rise leaving London at 6.00am. I am in excruciating pain with my abdomen and am finding it impossible to walk, but I couldn’t say no. The trip was planned over 3 weeks ago. Bruton is a beautiful historic town in Somerset, steeped in history and the church. The money that built the town came from rich landowners and other profiteering farming industries of the 17th and 18th centuries. The rich architecture is a legacy of those industries. The River Brue cuts through the town like a knife cutting through cheese.

Hauser & Wirth, Somerset is cited on a farm on the outskirts of Bruton. The gallery is a cluster of barns that have been beautifully sensitively restored like the entire buildings on the site. Entering the gallery Henry Taylor’s paintings dominate the space and each tell’s it’s own unique story. The paintings are sensitive yet strong. Paintings are vibrant in colours variant in size and expressive. The paintings are in acrylic and if you listen intently you can hear his laughter and his thought process. The paintings are a direct snapshot of his vision and how he sees the world which he inhabits. The show was a mix of found objects and paintings, plus work from his studio, and small paintings on cigarette boxes. These were beautifully box framed in beech and elevated the cigarette boxes to works of pure beauty. The found objects were fun, yet powerful. My best piece was a bronze head on found benches neatly positioned to represent horse a being mounted. Tough choice from so many great pieces. Overhearing some visitors reaction to the work made me frown. One said “ she found looking at the work uncomfortable” I had to ask her why she had that viewpoint solely out of curiosity. Her reply was emphatic yet I felt it under-stones of a bias and ignorance. She said she lived in Bruton and was a regular visitor to the gallery.

The show is a must see on many levels. The work, the space,the grounds and the town of Bruton. A trip to H&W in Somerset has to include a snoop around the town in order for you to get a taste of Somerset life.