Taylor Davis: Samson Projects

By Harris, Larissa | Artforum International, Summer 2006 | Go to article overview

Taylor Davis: Samson Projects


Harris, Larissa, Artforum International


In Taylor Davis's recent exhibition at Samson Projects, low cratelike forms with peepholes and slightly gaping panels; objects resembling drawers fallen out of a dresser; an unsteady, solitary eight-foot plywood phallus; and hay bales caged by wood or silver fabric made up a loose grid on the floor. Untitled, 2005, containing one bale of sweet timothy like a chicken in a roomy coop is paired with Farmer's Daughter 2, 2005, a crate built tightly around another bale. Together they exemplify the themes of containment and control that ran through the show. Jackie Winsor's cubes-with-apertures are a point of reference here, but Davis is working with the specific social meanings and forms of the functional structures of barnyard and bedroom rather than with the iconography of a monolithic Minimalism.

Untitled, 2005, one of the aforementioned "dresser drawers," lies upended at the back of the gallery, showing us the wrong side of its mirror bottom. A small applewood stump grows out of another, while Farmer's Daughter 3, 2005, stands on its side, transformed into a suitcase by the addition of a galvanized steel handle (she's eloped!). The phallus, which both anchors the show and calls it all into question, is topped with a silhouette of the classic barn roof--a six-sided gambrel--and sits on a slice of mirror that works less like a pedestal than a doily (still, it's the only work that's not placed directly on the floor). …

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