Jo Taylor


From those first tubby chestnuts of the Lascaux cavemen through the caparisoned mounts of medieval knights to Leonardo's rearing battering-rams or Stubbs' equine supermodels, the horse has picked its proud way through our civilisations. Of all our fellow creatures, it has been our most important companion. No wonder that artists across the centuries should have tried to capture it, to speak of its power and its drama, its courage and grace.

Jo Taylor joined a longstanding tradition of taking this animal as her main subject. Like some modern day Stubbs she has attended post-mortem examinations, unpicking the complexities of muscle and ligament and bone. She has sat by freezing northern gallops watching the racehorses thundering by at full stretch. She has crouched for hours in the corners of stables. She has carried her sketchbooks from the polo fields of Cowdray Park through the plains of Patagonia to the Subcontinent.

She is an artist working always from experience, she translates what she sees and feels and senses onto (often huge) sheets of paper or canvases, her lines unspooling with a streaming fluency, flung upwards like a neck, thrown outwards like a leap. She has captured the patterns and shapes of movement from the tautness of reined back impatience to the flow of an effortless pace. The viewer can sense the engagement she has with her subject. She can feel the relationship between human and horse.