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2003.26.9

Artist

Al Taylor

Title

Rat Guards

Creation Date

1998

Century

20th century

Dimensions

22 1/16 in. x 13 5/8 in. (56.04 cm x 34.61 cm)

Object Type

drawing

Creation Place

North America, American

Medium and Support

colored ink, gouache, acrylic and acrylic mica mortar on paper

Credit Line

Gift of Sarah-Ann and Werner H. Kramarsky

Copyright

This artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.

Accession Number

2003.26.9
Art critic Klaus Kertess once described Taylor’s works as “new tools for vision.” Whether Taylor constructed sculptures out of ephemeral objects or focused in his works on paper on the visual potential of the most mundane, he constructed poetic and highly original invitations to look and think anew. This gouache overlays shimmering vertical planes of diluted inks and acrylic paint to generate an image at once mysterious and enticing. For Taylor it was a souvenir from a trip to Hawai’i, where he had noticed tin sleeves around the trunks of coconut trees, ostensibly discouraging jungle rats from stealing the precious fruit. He exhibited a series of works on paper dedicated to those “Rat Guards,” his own term, together with sculptures made from fishing floats washed to the Hawai’ian shores. With an edgy humor and knack for the poetry of trash, Taylor evoked glistening island beauty and continuous motion of the waves in objects a tourist would rather not want to see.

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