ANGUS TAYLOR

BIOGRAPHY

ANGUS TAYLOR
(b. 1970, Pretoria, South Africa)

“You can only write poetry in a language you know.” – Angus Taylor

Angus Taylor is known for his powerful, often monumental, sculptural works made from materials from his immediate environment - Belfast granite, red jasper and the orange earth found near Johannesburg. Although he references traditional South African crafting techniques, his works are unmistakably contemporary. Taylor’s craftsmanship, bold and visionary approach and his original use of materials has resulted in many ambitious public and private commissions around the world.

Taylor is a graduate of the University of Pretoria, which awarded him an Alumni Laureate in 2005. He currently teaches part-time at the University of Pretoria and served as advisor to the Tshwane University of Technology.

In 1997, Taylor established Dionysus Sculpture Works, a studio and workshop combining all aspects of sculpture production: from conceptualisation to clay modelling, carving to casting. He casts his own and other prominent sculptors’ work including Deborah Bell, Norman Catherine and Sam Nhlenghthwa), and also nurtures the talent of young and developing artists. 

In addition to numerous solo and group shows, Taylor is actively involved in producing large-scale commissions for national and local government, as well as for private sector. These include the Solomon Mahlangu statue in Mamelodi, the statue of Chief Tshwane in front of the Pretoria City Hall, as well as the work commemorating South African anti-apartheid Afropop singer, Brenda Fassie, in Newtown Johannesburg. 

In establishing a recognisable presence in the world of public art over the past decades, Taylor has harnessed aspects of monumentality combined with a fresh reassessment of materials to create his own visual idiolect. In his view of “public art without an agenda”, referring to the absence of political and cultural baggage of the past, he replaced traditional heroes with male and female figures portraying something of the heroism of the common person, transcending overt stereotypes. Therefore, his sculptures read as neither black nor white, but rather as inclusive and above all accessible and inviting forms.

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2021

Quarried Consciousness, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

2020

Immanence | Transcendence, Everard Read, London, UK  

2017

In the middle of it, Everard Read, London, UK & Everard Read, Johannesburg & Cape Town, South Africa

2015

New Work, Fried Contemporary, Pretoria, South Africa

2014

From Explicit to Implicit, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

2011

Biography of Material, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

2010

New Work, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

Klont. Dialoog met Grond, Aardklop National Arts Festival, Potchefstroom, South Africa

2008

Momentary Permanence, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

2006

Deduct, University of Johannesburg; University of Potchefstroom; Grande Provence Gallery, South Africa

2005

Recent Works, Artspace, Johannesburg, South Africa 

2004

Solo Exhibition, Dorpstraat Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa

2003

Barefoot, Baggage Free, Bronze Age Sculpture House, SimonsTown, South Africa

Barefoot, Baggage Free, Mind’s-i, Pretoria, South Africa

2000

Africana & Other Baggage, Gallery 88, Sasolburg, South Africa

1999

Africana & Other Baggage, The Open Window Contemporary Gallery, Pretoria, South Africa

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2021    

Absolutely Fabulous Spring Show, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

In Conversation, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

2020

Odyssey, Everard Read, SA & UK

SUMMER 2020, Everard Read, London, UK

The Portrait Show, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

Staring Straight to the Future (online exhibition in support of the Solidarity Fund), Everard Read, SA & UK

Bronze, Steel, Stone & Bone, Everard Read, London, UK

2019

Southern Aspect, Everard Read, London, UK

Masterpiece Art Fair, Everard Read, London, UK

2018

Opening exhibition, Norval Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa

2017

FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa

Art Angels Africa Auction, London, UK

2016

Bronze, Steel & Stone, Everard Read, London, UK

A Place in Time, Nirox Foundation, Krugersdorp, South Africa

2015

Bronze, Steel & Stone, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, with Everard Read, London, UK

FNB Art Fair, Everard Read Gallery Booth, Johannesburg, South Africa

Capital: Present, Fried Contemporary, Pretoria, South Africa

2014

FNB Art Fair, Everard Read Gallery Booth, Johannesburg, South Africa

Summer Showcase, Tokara Estate, Stellenbosch, South Africa

2013

Summer of Sculpture II, Mount Nelson, with Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

Sculpt, William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley, South Africa

After the Rainbow Nation, Nirox Sculpture Park, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa

FNB Art Fair, with Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

DSW Group Exhibition, Pretoria Art Association, Pretoria, South Africa

2012

Summer of Sculpture, Mount Nelson,  with Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

The Rainbow Nation, Lange Voorhout, Den Hague, Netherlands

The Winter show, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

2009

Great South African Nude Exhibition, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

2008

FNB Art Fair, with Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

2007

Africa, Cork Street Gallery, London, UK

2006

Creative Creatures, Aardklop Arts Festival, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Corpus Colossus, Gordart, Johannesburg, South Africa 

2005

Funky Functional, Gordart Gallery, Melville, Johannesburg, South Africa

Porn Again, Merely Mortal Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Absa Atelier National Art Competition, Johannesburg, South Africa

Aardklop Arts Festival, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Oliewenhuis Museum, Bloemfontein, South Africa

2004

Off the Record - On the Record, Gordart at The Thompson Gallery Johannesburg, South Africa 

Art.co.za Gallery, Parktown North, Johannesburg, South Africa

Two Man Show, Wizards Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

2003

Dawid’s Choice, Dorp Straat Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa 

Opening Exhibition, New ‘Bronze Age’ Sculpture House, Simon's Town, South Africa

St. Valentine’s, Group Exhibition, Mind’s-i, Pretoria, South Africa

Gallery 88, Sasolburg, South Africa

Aardklop Arts Festival, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Gordart at the Thompson Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

2002

Drawing Conclusion, curated by Diane Victor, National Art Association, Johannesburg, South Africa

WAM, Sasol Wax Group Exhibition, Sasolburg, South Africa

A Show of Angels, The Open Window Contemporary Gallery, Pretoria, South Africa

 

 

SELECTED PUBLIC ART AND COMMISSIONS

2019

Holderstebolder, carved Belfast granite, steel & concrete, Delhi, India

Sculpture Commission for “Shell House”, Johannesburg

Long ears over wheat ears, donkey ears ago, carved Belfast granite, bronze, steel & concrete, Hazendal Wine Estate, Stellenbosch 

2018

Holderstebolder, carved Belfast granite, steel & concrete, Norval Foundation Museum, Cape Town The universal child, cast bronze, patina, Belfast granite, red jasper, black banded chert, Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, Johannesburg 

Dink aan die kleure van ons klippe, “The Club”, Hazelwood, Pretoria 

2017

Reflective Resonance, cast bronze, patina, Belfast granite, Sydney, Australia.

Equestrian Evolution, carved Belfast  granite, steel & concrete, Kyalami Square, Kyalami 

Dionysus, carved Belfast granite, steel & concrete, Tokara Wine Estate, Stellenbosch 

Reflective Resonance, cast bronze, patina, Belfast granite, Botswana 

2016

Portrait of a pig, cast bronze and patina, Eskort Headquarters, Irene 

Homing the future, homing the past, cast bronze, steel, stainless steel, Corner Place, Pretoria 

Homage to the foundation on which everything is built, carved Belfast granite, steel & concrete, 1 on Mutual, Pretoria 

Entangled Head in Bronze III Sculpture Commission for Rand Merchant Bank, Sandton 

Conduit, Rammed earth and stone, Saronsberg Estate, Tulbagh

2015

Three little pigs, cast concrete, bronze and patina, Stellenbosch Square 

Reflective Resonance, Cast bronze & Belfast Granite, Klein Dassenberg Wine Estate, Franschhoek Belated wake (floating heads), rammed earth, cement fondu, stone, Namibia  

Longview, carved Belfast Granite, Gordons Bay 

2014

Lady on a donkey, Hoërskool Waterkloof, Pretoria 

2013

Untitled, mixed media sculpture, Northcliff square, Johannesburg. 

Untitled, mixed media installation, Hatfield Growthpoint properties, Pretoria. 

Untitled, mixed media installation, Cradlestone Mall, Krugersdorp. 

Adam Kok III, Life size Bronze, Heritage project, Pretoria. 

2012

Van hier tot daar, permanent slate installation, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein. 

Pixley Ka Seme, Life size bronze, Heritage project, Bloemfontein. 

Layers of mind, mixed media sculpture, OBZ Square, University of Cape Town. 

Layers of mind and metal, permanent mixed media installation, Newcastle Mall, Newcastle. 

Layers of Being, The Rainbow Nation, Contemporary South African Sculpture, Lange Voorhout Museum Beelden aan zee, Den Haag

A crossing of tangible truths, Mixed media installation, Platinum square, Rustenburg

2011

Grounded,Ungrounded I and II, Bronze cast, Lynnwood Bridge, Pretoria 

Grounded, Rammed Earth and Bronze cast, Eldo square, Eldoraigne, Pretoria 

2010

The One Brother and the Dark Cloud, Cast bronze & stainless steel, Corner of Eastwood and Park street (by Loftus Versfeld Stadium), Pretoria 

Little Mamma Africa, permanent slate installation at Atteridgeville Super Stadium in conjunction with Dionysus sculpture works 

Homage to Hermes, permanent slate installation, Whistler, Vancouver, Canada 

Homage to Hermes, permanent slate installation, Damme, Belgium

Homage to Hermes, permanent slate installation, Apple Mac Head Quarters, Johannesburg 

Hier, a permanent slate installation at Ellerman House, Bantry Bay, Cape Town

Drift, a biodegradable installation for Aardklop, Potchefstroom Botanical Gardens

Adrift, granite head at Waterkloof Corner Shopping Centre, Pretoria 

2009

Momentary Permanence, Belfast granite and bronze figures at Brooklyn bridge, Pretoria 

2008

Centenary Sculptures, Granite and Bronze cast, Merensky Library walkway, University of

Pretoria 

Three Granite Figures, Granite, University of Pretoria 

2007

Co-presence (Apollonian-Dionysian), Steel and stainless steel cast, Irene Village Mall, Centurion  



AWARDS

2017 Helgaard Steyn Award for Sculpture

2010 Aardklop Festival Artist

2005 University of Pretoria, Alumni Laureate 

1994 Best Sculpture Student (UP)

1994 1st Prize - PPC Young Sculptors Award