Category Archives: David George Taylor – Paintings

The Sounding of the Seventh Angel

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Before this painting of the human spirit and its creative powers metaphysics became more than speculation. http://www.davidgeorgetaylor.com

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Sparagmos

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In Sparagamos, The Fall (c. 1966), a miniature figure is fleeing the collapse of its universe. Its small scale recalls the Oriental tradition where the human figure is a significant if nearly invisible feature that adds a human element of consciousness to an otherwise vast and empty landscape. It is the work of the artist to restore to this Adamic being his rightful creative identity and stature – his transcendent vision. http://www.davidgeorgetaylor.com

Peniel

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Peniel, 1960 183 x 127 cm

On the front of the canvas:
“Let me go for the day breaketh.” (Genesis 32:26)

The Visionary Symbolic

“The first significant painting . . . was a rather dark abstract called Peniel – a brooding picture which hates to be hung in even remote proximity to anything else.”
David G. Taylor, The Winnowed Field – a brief family history

Peniel (1960) has a raw textural energy, Goya-like in its classical atmosphere and intensity. The lines and rhythms project a sense of mystery and of a spiritual meta-world as the dark muscular colouration depicts the struggle that Jacob had in Genesis 32:26. For Jacob, Peniel is the place of revelation whereon the forces with which he struggles are recognized to be divine. This “place of revelation” belongs to the painter, the viewer and to its own spiritual dimension. Its world is unquantifiable, immeasurable and immaterial. The primordial struggle expressed in Peniel visually goes beyond abstraction or figuration. Life and art are at odds in this narrative. Their resolution is the artist’s goal. The vision here is a Blakean* world of angelic and demonic energies where the demonic is perceived as both disruptive and creative.

*“Northrop Frye’s book on Blake [Fearful Symmetry] is some- thing I devour – praised as it is by Dame Edith Sitwell as a book ‘fiery in its understanding.’”
David G. Taylor, The Winnowed Field – a brief family history

The Sounding of the Seventh Angel

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Working all night and inspired by a reading of two editions of The Revelation of St. John the Divine, the artist produces The Sounding of the Seventh Angel (1960), its “large rough outlines cursorily thrown down. Then, as the thing progresses, the original idea is abandoned, something else being dictated. A standing of ten hours – through one night and into the dawn – and it is done.” (Taylor, The Winnowed Field, p. 146)

“. . . the term ‘angel’ or ‘spirit’ in William Blake, when not used in an ironic sense, means the imagination functioning as inspiration, and the fact that inspiration often takes on a purpose of its own which appears to be independent of the will is familiar to every creative artist.”
Northrop Frye, Fearful Symmetry

Abstracted into an expression of pure transfigurative energy sea and angel appear to be one and the same – an immanent vision of undying creativity: something that we – the viewer – discover to be inherent in ourselves. The treatment expands visually; its scale is infinite. (The Sounding of the Seventh Angel: The Collected Paintings)

“. . . if all art is visionary, it must be apocalyptic and revelatory too: the artist does not wait to die before he lives in the spiritual world into which [St.] John was caught up.” 
Northrop Frye, Fearful Symmetry