| P R O P E R T Y | I n our last issue I interviewed David Taborn at his studio in Lambeth. Recently we headed out together to several London galleries, and I had the opportunity to take a closer look at his current work. In March, we visited the White Cube in Bermondsey for ‘A Fortnight of Tears’by Tracey Emin followed by a brief but rewarding visit to Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery to see the impressive paintings of John Bellamy and Alan Davie, ‘Cradle of Magic’. Early in May we headed to the Gagosian Gallery in Mayfair to view ‘Visions of the Self: Rembrandt and Now’. For those unfamiliar with the career of David Taborn, he paints large abstract canvasses with oils and resins, and makes objects from all sorts of things that look like mechanical beings that might move, function or act. In 1964, at the age of 17, Taborn left his birthplace in the Midlands and travelled to Germany, finding work as a postman. The early starts and early finishes gave him the time to draw and paint, and soon enough he had a portfolio of work that took him back to study at Birmingham College of Art. That was followed by the Slade School of Fine Art as a post-graduate. Seven years later he was awarded A Fellowship at Nottingham University, where he made increasingly abstract landscape paintings. Over the decade that followed Taborn became uncomfortable with landscape association as an easy option of abstract expression, and he began taking his paintings and the abstraction even further. In 2003 David Taborn was awarded a three year NESTA Fellowship, followed by the Established Artist Fellowship at UrbanGlass studios in New York, working for the first time with glass and neon. R ecently Taborn has been experimenting with words and the familiar objects of old books as an alternative material, transfiguring hundreds of them into subversive, irreverent triggers which he called“The Dado Rail of Delusion”. An award from the Gottlieb Foundation last year enabled him to return to painting with fresh momentum and vigour, producing an explosion of new, restless creations that demand to be seen. O ur afternoon jaunt to see “A Fortnight of Tears”at the Bermondsey White Cube was fun but Tracey Emin’s work was less so. The first large room was dedicated to an array of huge printed selfie photos taken by Emin in bed, unable to sleep. The next was a collection of minimalist ink drawings inscribed with words of love, loss and grief. Later, David and I stood at the back of a dark curtained room as Emin talked on film. She was emoting about a young tree in a park and an abortion, at which point we snook out. “Time,”as Taborn said, “is of the essence.” Half an hour after leaving the White Cube we parked up at Newport Street Gallery in Lambeth. Another stunning space, this time decorated with the ominous mood and DAVID TABORN: A LIFE IN A DAY THE RIVER MAGAZINE | Summer 2019 15 Homunculus – Plate (2006)