Emilie Taylor at Bosse & Baum

For this exhibition at Bosse & Baum, the compact gallery space has been transformed into a high-art display highly resembling museum showcases. This small pocket has been transformed into a crisp and pristine hideout for art lovers, where they have consistently put on aesthetically pleasing and stimulating exhibitions since opening in 2014.

Installation view: Emilie Taylor, Beating the Bounds, 2018. Image courtesy of Bosse & Baum.

Emilie Taylor, whose work incorporates ceramics and social practices, has produced a body of work with deceptively light and traditional designs; supported by a wonderfully clear and unpretentious text by Dr Paula McCloskey, themes surrounding the artist’s identification with motherhood and the body as well as ancient references to the patriarchy are neatly unpacked. Given that the ceramic works are presented on plinths making the viewing experience more ergonomic and comfortable, we are able to move around each piece and follow the narrative. ‘Torso II’, for example, has a certain Klimt air to it, but being able to see the sculpture from a 360-degree viewpoint resembles the craft of the ancient cultures the artist has been inspired by, above and beyond Klimt’s late nineteenth century oeuvre.

Emilie Taylor, Torso II, 2018. 34cm x 74cm x 12cm. Image courtesy of Bosse & Baum.

The hard, polished surfaces of the ceramic vases are embellished with soft, thick black brushstrokes, earthy tones and gold leaf, decorative elements which contrast each other, highlighting different elements. Dr McCloskey’s analysis of the large pots “telling gently political stories of otherness located in a western, post-industrial landscape” feels spot on throughout; the artist’s motivations from contemporary social issues such as gender and the history of ceramics as a medium provides a wonderful narrative of marrying the past and present. The various positions of women’s bodies found on the vases and pots give the show a highly personal feel, surely relatable to many of the exhibition’s visitors as well as giving us insight into the artist’s mindset and experiences.

Aside from the surface of the vases, Bosse & Baum have given the works a sophisticated display that draws the viewer in from the streets of Peckham. The muted whites, greys and mustards of the gallery's interior provide a backdrop which attracts due attention to Taylor's ceramics. I have always been curious about how to best curate ceramics, and with Dr McCloskey's essay supporting a stunningly pared-back exhibition space, 'Beating the Bounds' is a primer lesson in exactly how to do that.

Emilie Taylor, Boulder I, 2018. 60 x 55 x 35cm. Image courtesy of Bosse & Baum.

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