Bill Saylor at Magenta Plains

Artist: Bill Saylor

Exhibition title: Neptune’s Machine

Venue: Magenta Plains, New York, US

Date: September 18 – October 23, 2019

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Magenta Plains, New York

Magenta Plains presents Neptune’s Machine, Bill Saylor’s second exhi-bition at the gallery consisting of new paintings and large-scale sculp-ture. Saylor’s approach to topics of natural history, marine biology, and ecological crisis along with a freedom of materiality galvanize his dis-tinct painting style.

The title is a nod to the mythology of a collective past, while acknowledging a very real phenome-non: oceans are the planet’s main regulatory system. Currents contribute and alter jet streams, drive weather patterns, stabilize temperatures and guide wildlife. Often those trajectories are as erratic and reckless as the deities’ mercurial temperament. The metaphor of Neptune’s Machine captures the raw energy and natural force of Saylor’s hand and allows for a broad representation of his explorations.

Built up with layers of splattered and poured paint, parts of Saylor’s canvases resemble chemical spills—motifs of environmental damage propelled by a frenetic and muscular application of paint smeared and scratched. Notational devices appear on canvases as abstracted weather maps. Their features, symbols, and contours delineate compositions that are scattered with both real and hybrid figures, evincing an ever-present drawing practice in which his work is rooted.

Recognized not only for his unique iconography, Saylor’s impasto paint application and his experi-mentation with the medium clearly celebrates the act of painting itself. In a 2015 review from Janet Goleas, the critic remarks, “Saylor lays down marks in oil stick, spray paint and pigment in a furious scrawl that ricochets from side to side like visual warfare. The resulting compositions feel as if they were pulled from the subconscious with a veracity that would make Carl Jung proud.”

Sculptures punctuate the exhibition with a playfulness that resonates on the collaged and painted sur-faces—three dimensional takes on the artist’s mark making. Hinting at crude but viable mechanical processes, the cobbled totems syncopate a flawed yet sincere human intervention while forewarning the malice such interventions may cause. Standing as imperfect weather vanes, the sculptures allow for the possibility that imagination may be the curse and also the key to our future.

Bill Saylor has held solo exhibitions at Magenta Plains, New York, NY; Leo Koe-nig Inc., New York, NY; The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; and Loyal Gallery, Stockholm, SE. Two-person shows include “Bill Saylor & Josh Smith” at Hiromi Yoshii Gallery, Tokyo, JP; “Bill Saylor & Aidas Bareikis” at Shoot The Lobster, New York, NY; “Bill Saylor & Donald Baechler” at Makebish, New York, NY; and “Mason Saltarrelli and Bill Saylor” at Shrine, New York, NY. Saylor was included in “Animal Farm” at the Brant Foundation and has participated in group exhibi-tions at Venus Over Manhattan, NY; CANADA, New York, NY; Martos Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; MIER Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Ceysson & Bénétière, Lux-embourg and Yerba Buena Art Center, San Francisco, CA. Saylor’s work was also included in “Contemporary Painting” curated by Alex Katz at the Colby College Museum of Art in 2004. In 2010, Saylor collaborated on the zine “Ho Bags” with Harmony Korine and he was an artist-in-residence at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, TX. Bill Saylor lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Bill Saylor, Neptune’s Machine, 2019, exhibition view, Magenta Plains, New York

Bill Saylor, Neptune’s Machine, 2019, exhibition view, Magenta Plains, New York

Bill Saylor, Neptune’s Machine, 2019, exhibition view, Magenta Plains, New York

Bill Saylor, Neptune’s Machine, 2019, exhibition view, Magenta Plains, New York

Bill Saylor, Neptune’s Machine, 2019, exhibition view, Magenta Plains, New York

Bill Saylor, Neptune’s Machine, 2019, exhibition view, Magenta Plains, New York

Bill Saylor, Trident, 2019, Wood, reclaimed cardboard, foam, canvas, fiberglass mesh, Flashe, spray paint, 92h x 68w x 61d in

Bill Saylor, Trident, 2019, Wood, reclaimed cardboard, foam, canvas, fiberglass mesh, Flashe, spray paint, 92h x 68w x 61d in

Bill Saylor, Trident, 2019, Wood, reclaimed cardboard, foam, canvas, fiberglass mesh, Flashe, spray paint, 92h x 68w x 61d in

Bill Saylor, Drifters, 2019, Oil, spray paint, and charcoal on canvas, 120h x 96w in

Bill Saylor, Fly To The Tide, 2019, Oil, spray paint, and Flashe on canvas, 84h x 64w in

Bill Saylor, Double Overhead, 2018, Oil, charcoal, Flashe, and spray paint on canvas, 84h x 64w in

Bill Saylor, Accumulator, 2019, Pine tree trunk, cedar board, metal, mylar, PVC pipe, 77.50h x 36w x 30.50d in

Bill Saylor, Hot Lava, 2019, Oil, spray paint, and Flashe on canvas, 95h x 64w in

Bill Saylor, Breakers Gold, 2019, Oil, spray paint, graphite, and Flashe on canvas, 84h x 64w in

Bill Saylor, Cly-Fy, 2019, Oil, spray paint, and Flashe on canvas, 74h x 104w in

Bill Saylor, Sunset Strip, 2019, Flashe, oil, spray paint, and charcoal on canvas, 74h x 104w in

Bill Saylor, Disintegrating Cobra, 2019, Oil, chalk, and spray paint on raw canvas, 84h x 66w in

Bill Saylor, Sylvia Earle Finds a Pearl, 2019, Oil on raw canvas, 60h x 48w in

Bill Saylor, Cosmico, 2019, Oil on dropcloth over panel, 48h x 36w in

Leave a Comment