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I try to create things we’ve never seen before.
— John D Taylor

JOHN D. TAYLOR is an Artist, Cabinetmaker, Father and longtime resident of West Philadelphia and Powelton Village. He has been engaged in Philadelphia’s art community for nearly 50 years, contrasting a meticulous and expressive printmaking process with gestural and playful designs influenced by his early artistic experiences.

John studied painting at Cleveland Institute of Art in the 1960’s and was heavily influenced by the Abstractionists, Zen Modernists, and the free jazz of John Coltrane and his Classic Quartet. In the summer of 1967 Taylor moved east to the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Fine Art, carrying his influences with him to study painting. Taylor’s interest in Penn stemmed from a number of fellow CIA graduates’ experiences with the celebrated Italian artists who led Penn’s newly reorganized graduate program: Piero Dorazio and Angelo Savelli. Under their instruction, Taylor was introduced to some of the most influential contemporary artists of the time, most notably Mark Rothko and critic Clement Greenberg.

Taylor’s time at Penn was limited, and he soon left the program to make art on his own. However, he did continue with the University in some capacity, working as a gallery preparator for the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) and later as the head of the installation crew of the Arthur Ross Gallery. In this roll, Taylor quickly became integrated within Philadelphia’s art scene, and also with artists of international esteem who exhibited and lectured at the ICA such as Frank Stella, Larry Poons, and Robert Indiana, among many others.

In his own practice, John D. Taylor continues to be influenced by jazz and the Artists that he encountered in the 60’s and 70’s. Mostly leaving paintings for printmaking in the later years of his practice, Taylor’s minimalist compositions reveal a mind both informed and visionary, and hands equally skillful and expressive.