DAVID TABORN davidtaborn.com R ight from the beginning of Taborn’s career he was experimenting on all fronts. When the Slade agreed to pay his rent for a large railway arch to use as a studio in 1970 he was already setting himself apart, creating a distance between himself and ‘the herd’, between himself and his past techniques. In May, before we set out to the Gagosian Gallery in Mayfair, Taborn showed me several current works that were taking shape, gathering momentum. Echoes of his past journeys resonate in the pieces which have become simplified, distilled. Painted holes, like time-tunnels lead through to somewhere else, or out behind the canvas. As the eye seeks a pathway, entry points emerge, beams and poles point up through these black holes, targets peep out from behind edges and space opens up unexpectedly. He is clearly enjoying the direct craft of painting again. ‘Visions of the Self: Rembrandt and Now’at the Gagosian was essentially a celebration of Rembrandt’s ‘Self-Portrait with Two Circles’, a masterpiece painted when the Dutchman was sixty years old. All of the other self-portraits including works by Francis Bacon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lucian Freud, Pablo Picasso ultimately prepare visitors for Rembrandt’s oil painting which stands majestically in the final room, dwarfing all others with its undeniable mastery, integrity, style and historical weight. A surprising inclusion in the exhibition that delighted David Taborn as we progressed deeper into the gallery’s heart, was the ‘Portrait de Femme’completed in 1939 by Dora Maar, the French photographer, painter and poet who famously had a liaison with Picasso between 1936 and 1943. The work is simple, striking and a reduction of the many representations Picasso made of her. With each passing minute we explored the exhibition, late on that Friday afternoon, visitors steadily arrived and the intimate gallery space began to fill up. We had seen enough and had enjoyed it immensely; it was time to head back south, out of Mayfair, over the river and through congested intersections, under the arches and railway bridges at Vauxhall, all the way back to Taborn’s house, his studio and his next canvasses. Tat 2 (2019). One of the series of works Taborn completed this year