The decorator always gets paid least 

“The decorator always gets paid least” is Ross Taylor’s second solo show at Ivan Gallery, after the 2017 “Teeth where fingernails should be”. It was open to the public from 12 February until the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic in early March 2020.

The exhibition brings together paintings on board and on paper which were created by the artist in the past 10 years. Ross Taylor’s artistic process develops in time and it is almost entirely studio based, the resulting works being literally created on and from the walls and floor of the studio. Until a certain painting is finished, the artist returns to it now and again, reworking and revisiting the same piece several times throughout the years. The studio thus becomes a fantastic and at the same time ordinary place, a fabulous cave which feeds and consumes the artist’s work: “A sanctuary to pick and scratch, wait and stare, to let your attentions be removed from the matter at hand. But this is incredibly important, because maybe then, and only then, a painting might begin to ‘happen’.” (Ross Taylor)

This selection of works is centred around the metaphor of the „decorator”, an ironical alter ego of the artist as well as a fictional character with specific traits. The titles of the works refer to various elements from the „decorator”'s universe as well as form the artist's personal one, while their surface comes to resemble the multiple layers of a plastered and replastered wall. In Ross Taylor's case, the painterly matter - oil paint, oil pastel or even collaged elements – is added and removed, added and overlayed, in different ways in different areas of the composition. Some stains, drips or strokes are the result of accidents, other reproduce or simulate the initial accident while others create unexpected figurative areas. This is why Ross Taylor's paintings are never entirely abstract nor figurative, but something in between and beyond, enriched by the subsequent hours and days spent working on them in the studio.

Ross Taylor (b. 1982, London) lives and works in London and completed his MA (Painting) at The Royal College of Art, London, in 2008. In 2018 he was selected as artist-in-residence at The Edward James Foundation, West Sussex, and between 2015-16 was the Abbey Scholar in Painting at the British School at Rome, Italy. Recent exhibitions and performances include “The studio at 4am”, Hastings Contemporary, East Sussex, UK, 2020: “Feeling BLOB”, for ALW on RTM.fm, TACO, London, 2019; “Sightings”, Caraboo, Bristol, 2018; “Dialogues: New Painting from London”, GASK, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic, 2018; “Reading as Rhythm”, Tate Liverpool, UK, 2018; “A spicy migraine grease”, Larsen Warner, Stockholm, Sweden, 2018. Taylor's work is held in several collections including the Handelsbanken collection, Sweden, The British School at Rome, Italy and the Edward JamesTrust, UK, and private collections in Europe.