Monday, December 29, 2008


Alison Elisabeth Taylor is a very original American painter who has a MFA (master of Fine Arts) from Columbia University but who is self-taught in the art of wood inlay called marquetry.

She was born in 1973 in Selma, Alabama and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She lives in New York city. Marquetry has a mixed history that is well-suited to her task. A princely luxury in medieval and renaissance times, it is, by now, more likely to be found in lower middle class homes of the kind inhabited by Ms. Taylor’s protagonists.

To make her works Alison E. Taylor makes first the drawings, then covers them with vellum, and maps out the puzzle-piece shapes she will cut from veneers. Some of her works contain more than 60 different types of wood. There is constantly an air of irony and social critic in her works that definitely draw the attention of the onlooker. Then there is the "finish" of the marquetry and the general impression is of a very elegant and electric atmosphere.

This work is a wood veneer, shellac 47 X 77 inches executed in 2007. Last Spring, for her second solo show at James Cohan Gallery in New York, she made her own freestanding room, paneled inside with marquetry looking like a homesteader's cabin. Some of her works sell for up to $150,000.

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