a charlotte street 15 year anniversary project considering the history and future of artist-driven pioneering in Kansas City and the changing nature of the city's "frontiers"
Interview with Caleb Taylor
Jonah Criswell: When was your UCP Residency?
Caleb Taylor: I was a resident in Partnership Place from 2009-2010.
JC: How do you feel that the UCP Residency helped you further your work?
CT: The UCP Residency furthered my work significantly by offering time and space to take risks and expand existing ideas. I was part of a group of residents (Aaron Storck, Erica Mahiney, Kurt Flecksing, Juniper Tangpuz, and Sammy Persons) that was ambitiously questioning their own directions… it became essential that I also build on my own visual vocabulary. These discussions with my neighbors were extremely influential. My work became extremely drawing-based, and I got deep into theWhite Window series that was an inverse of my paintings up to that point. It was a time of contemplation. Being downtown, I walked to and from my studio that year. My work seemed to wander a lot during that time, which was great. Also in that year, I was introduced to artists and community members that have now become close friends.
JC: In your statement you talk about translating the gesture into something more deliberate, is this an effort to slow the viewer down? In your previous work you created a visual conversation between hidden and revealed and now this new didactic between gestural and deliberate. What prompted this change in content?
I think it has always been my objective to slow the viewer down; to make paintings that thrive on subtleties and demand time. The tension of the surface, scale and spatial considerations all contribute to my desire to create new experiences. At UCP, my works shifted focus from concealing to revealing because I felt I had more to present the audience. This change in content happened as I noticed myself become a more thoughtful painter. No longer was my work building generalized statements about the body, but more specific descriptions of my process. I used painting and drawing to track time and my physicality. I would conceal spaces to focus the work and to deny a sense of time. I felt like I was purposely working against my assumptions of abstract history.
While at UCP, I really began questioning the essence of my actions, therefore the evolution of my forms became focused on gesture. I questioned “deliberate” intuition. What informed it? How could I use it? These thoughts evolved into the Gesture Knot series. I ended up making my first Gesture Knot about a month after moving out of the 13th floor.
My Knots strive to find identity in the simplest gesture: the drawn line. Through a process of drawing and cutting, I translate quick intimate actions into deliberate forms that challenge ideas about my physicality and how I interact with specific environments. These slowed gestures hang in space as networks, entrails, and paths of consciousness where intuition becomes both a responsive and planned experience.”