Skip to main content.

J. B. TAYLOR - Artist

1917 - 1970

Making a difference.
Making you think

From Realism to Abstraction: The Art of J. B. Taylor

By Adriana A. Davies

From Realism to Abstraction: The Art of J. B. Taylor

Climbing among the glaciers, you become aware of time. You can see the sun, wind, and rain that caused the great masses of ice to change their forms over many thousands of years… His [the artist’s] main aim is to construct on canvas the simplest statement he can make. – J.B. Taylor, 1970.

J. B. (Jack) Taylor (1917-1970) was an important figure in the history of Banff and western Canada's artistic community. Inspired by the locale, Taylor spent his career striving to depict the idea of the mountain moving over time from traditional representation of nature to an intuitive perception of the essential elements of landscape – rock, water, and sky. Always, he sought to capture his ideas through the development of a new visual language. He applied this new vernacular to a range of studies encompassing portraiture through to other landscapes.

Filled with images of his work and photographs of his life as an artist and teacher in western Canada, this book is the first to focus completely on J. B. Taylor, his importance to the western Canadian and Banff artistic communities, and his role in the transition from traditional, eastern, North American and European landscape ideals and technique to a more abstract representation and the formation of a new aesthetic of the wilderness based on the mountains of the West.

Adriana A. Davies is a well-known researcher, writer, editor, and poet. She was the Executive Director of the Alberta Museums Association for thirteen years and founding Executive Director of the Heritage Community Foundation. In 2010, she was invested in the Order of Canada for contributions to heritage.

Now available from the University of Calgary Press and through local book stores (Audrey's, Edmonton Bookstore).

Alberta Government

Government of Canada

Canada Council for the Arts