rosemary biogarphy life and art rosemary taylor biography the art of rosemary taylor

summer exhibition

Rosemary Taylor : Her Art

Rosemary was not a passionate follower of sport. What fascinated her was the balance and body movements of world-class athletes at their peak – in particular tennis and cricket players.

Her paintings are powerful studies showing a fascination for the human body in disciplined movement.

Rosemary would set up a camera and tripod either at sporting events, such as Wimbledon, or in front of the TV; so she could take photos of the athletes and study them at length.

She was inspired by the method used by fellow artist Hockney, whom she saw using a Polaroid to freeze the way the water moved in his iconic painting ‘The Bigger Splash’.

She would choose a pivotal moment in a game or match to provide a portrait of the athletes characteristic style and movement. And aficionados of cricket could recognise the players from their movement, even when their faces were not distinct. 

The detail in her paintings demonstrates a clear understanding of movement, shape and angles. Often the figures are like reflections in clear but rippled water.

The sports paintings are on a vast scale and feature striking contemporary images of well-known sporting legends. A prime example are the paintings Lillee and Thomson – depicting two of the fastest bowlers of the 20th century. 

Rosemary left behind a large body of work, oil on canvas, amounting to some 72 paintings. In addition to the sports paintings, her prolific collection of work includes still lives and nudes. She also produced a number of charcoal sketches on brown paper done from nude studies in a church in Islington.

Internationally renowned art dealer Annely Juda once told Rosemary her paintings ‘should sell like hotcakes,’ but at the time she didn’t want to part with them. Only a handful of her original paintings have been sold to date, to wealthy collectors in South Africa and the UK.

As well as the original paintings, reproductions are available to buy as giclées - fine art prints on canvas.

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