“Venus and the Gift,” Sunny Taylor, acrylic on panel, 29×25,” 2017
When she’s creating her paintings, Sunny Belliston Taylor thinks in terms of “constructing” an image, or “building” a surface. “I piece visual information together in a way that feels very sculptural,” she says. “And although my works are flat, I’m always concerned with their objecthood, the way they are viewed from all angles, their presence in a room.”
It’s no wonder, then, that most of her favorite artists are sculptors, including Martin Puryear. “He makes gorgeous, abstract forms that are sometimes anthropomorphic, sometimes industrial, always poetic.” Puryear is a Washington, D.C., artist who now lives in New York’s Hudson Valley. He is a master craftsman who works in wood, stone, ceramic, metal, and other materials and was influenced by minimalism, though he ultimately rejected the impersonal nature of the movement. “The way [Puryear] pieces together materials to construct large objects, his devotion to surface quality and texture, the way he allows process and material to drive the work and then lets concept and meaning follow — these are just a few of his artistic practices that resonate with me and validate my own approach to art making.”
“Hominid,” Martin Puryear, 2007 – 2011, Pine,
73 x 77.5 x 57 inches.
Taylor is a Utah native who attended Brigham Young University for her BFA and Ohio State University for her MFA. After teaching as an assistant professor in the Studio Arts program of BYU from 2008-2014, she left the university to concentrate on art and family. She’ll be part of the “Certain Women” group exhibit opening at Anthony’s Fine Art” on March 2. She says she feels embarrassed to put her work next to an artist like Puryear, whom she admires so much, “but, I somehow feel a kinship to this talented man and the way he approaches the art object.”