Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Kiss, 2021. Marquetry hybrid 31 x 24 in (78.7 x 61 cm). (Courtesy: the artist and James Cohan, New York; Photo: Dan Bradica).

The James Cohan Gallery in Tribeca is currently presenting a collection of work by Alison Elizabeth Taylor for the exhibition Future Promise. The title refers to hope for renewal in a place that suffered a major disaster.

In these unusual times, Taylor found inspiration in the variety of ways that people around her adapted to the recent crisis. 

 Done in “marquetry hybrid” — a term that she coined— a novel medium that combines painted wood, wood veneer, photographic prints, and painted passages on panel, her works portray people, places, and objects amid their “new normal” circumstances.

One piece, titled “On Thinking Thoughts are Feelings,”  depicts a man and a woman nude in their bedroom that, during the lockdown, has become their whole world. The woman is presented in the late stages of pregnancy, a possible allusion to the amount of time she and her partner have spent inside together.

Alison Elizabeth Taylor, On Thinking Thoughts are Feelings, 2020. Marquetry hybrid 53 x 71 in. (134.6 x 180.3 cm). (Courtesy: the artist and James Cohan, New York; Photo: Dan Bradica).

What: Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Future Promise

When: Sep 10-Oct 23, 2021

Where: James Cohan, 48-52 Walker Street, New York, NY

Another piece, “The Kiss,” shows a close-up of a young couple on a hiking trip in the woods, accommodating to the new reality of restricted personal contact— undeterred by their facial coverings, they share a kiss. 

The piece titled “Night at the PS” exemplifies how “normal” life is coming back. It portrays a dynamic production by a group of performance artists likely in a local community theatre or club dressed as wild animals, such as lions, tigers, and birds.

“Anthony Cuts Under the Wburg BridgeSunset”  is a reflection on ingenuity and improvisation shown by people cut off from their usual working environments — a stylist working behind a barbed-wire fence in a deserted area near or under the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge. 


Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Midwinter, 2021. Marquetry hybrid 58 x 60 in (147.3 x 152.4 cm ). (Courtesy: the artist and James Cohan, New York; Photo: Dan Bradica).

While most of the works reflect day-to-day life around her current home and studio in Brooklyn, she also turns to warmer settings and exotic locales. Works such as “South of France” and “Midwinter” are examples of life as we know it making a comeback. Midwinter features a group of four female friends eager to see one another in person again and able to go wherever they want. In the piece, they are wearing bikinis, gathered around a swimming pool at a lavish resort, possibly South Florida, having drinks and talking casually amongst themselves. In “South of France,” we see a rear view of a woman’s lower legs wearing gold heels and standing at the edge of a fence overlooking a clear blue body of water that may be the Mediterranean Sea.

Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Rockshop, 2020. Marquetry hybrid 68 x 51 in (172.7 x 129.5 cm). (Courtesy: the artist and James Cohan, New York; Photo: Dan Bradica).

Taylor also included scenes of her native Southwest—an image titled “Rockshop,”  a diverse collection of colorful centerpiece sculptures made from various rocks and crystals sitting on a wooden shelf in an antique store within the Southwestern mountains, or a piece depicting a painting of a tall, rock formation against the alluring purplish sky.

Alison Elizabeth Taylor, We Don’t Mean You, 2021. Marquetry hybrid 38 x 32 in (96.5 x 81.3 cm). (Courtesy: the artist and James Cohan, New York; Photo: Dan Bradica).