Fraser Taylor works prolifically, employing a broad range of media, always maintaining a strong interest in blurring the boundaries between fine art and design.
Taylor’s painting and drawing practice is direct, vigorous, emotional and multi-layered, both in media and concept. He often juxtaposes raw turbulent surfaces with areas of calm, as he investigates the significance and rituals associated with the human body and the space it occupies. His vocabulary examines feeling and tension, often within a restricted palette and tonal range. He interrogates formal possibilities, combining collage, assemblage, impasto and scraping-back, creating abstract surfaces that operate independently of the subject, commanding scrutiny of their own language and aesthetic rewards. Black often predominates, its depth freeing up and allowing the figure, as a detached object, to be dissected, fragmented, torn and repeated, questioning order and harmony.
The work on display in Bodies of Work stem from a number of residencies Taylor undertook in 2013/14 across Scotland in Shetland, Newburgh, Fife and Glasgow. Having undertaken several residencies in America, he developed a desire to re-investigate his Scottish origins and participated in a residency facilitated by Wasps Studios to spend a year in Scotland, exploring three dramatically different geographies, each with contrasting social contexts.
Raised in Scotland, he studied Printed Textile Design, firstly at Glasgow School of Art, then at The Royal College of Art in London. It was whilst there that in 1983 he and three RCA colleagues: David Band, Brian Bolger and Helen Manning, formed The Cloth, a groundbreaking collective working with international clients, on projects including textiles and fashion design, corporate identity, and record sleeves for bands such as Spandau Ballet and The Bluebells. Though the collective disbanded in 1988 in order to allow each of its members to pursue individual creative interests, the importance of The Cloth was recognised when a collection of its designs were included in ‘Club to Catwalk’ an exhibition celebrating 1980s visual culture and fashion at the V&A Museum, London in 2013.
Since 2001 Taylor has taught in the department of Fiber and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).