Richard Dennison Taylor
Richard Dennison Taylor est né èa Fort William, Ontario, et commença son apprentissage sous la tutelle des membres de l'Académie royale Canadienne, et poursuivit ses études au Central technical college et le réputé collèege des Arts de l'Ontario. Sa première publication de bande dessiné fut ''Mystery Men'', qui apparut dans l'evening telegraph de Toronto, et ce pendant une année. Il s'illustra également dans le Goblin magazine de l,université de Toronto. Début des années trente, Taylor se mit au service des enfants, proposant plusieurs petits pamplets et en 35 illustra quelques 40 dessins sous la plume de Lionel Reed, dans une fantaisie intitulée ''Worm's end'', le même Reed avec qui il édita les bouquins pour enfants. Sa réputation de fin caricaturiste traversa la frontière et devint collaborateur au New Yorker magazine, sous une base régulière. Et la folie de Taylor envahit toutes les capitales américaines et tous les grands quotidiens se l'arrachaient, entre autre le Saturday Evening post, Collier's, Esquire Magazine, Playboy, et à la même époque, soit 1940, exposa à la Walker gallery et à la galerie Valentine. Maintenant on ne retoure que très rarement des oeuvres de Taylor sur le marché, sa descendance ayany eu la brillante idée de léguer une grande partie de leur collection à la Bibliothèque et Archives du Canada.
Richard Denison Taylor was born in Fort William, Ontario, in 1902. His early art training began in Toronto under the tutelage of members of the Royal Canadian Academy. He continued more formal classes at Central Technical and, later, at the Ontario College of Art. His first published comic strip, entitled "Mystery Men", appeared in the Toronto Evening Telegram where it ran for a year. Early freelance work included illustrating the pages of the University of Toronto's renowned Goblin Magazine until it folded in 1929.
In the early 1930s, Taylor co-published several small children's books. In 1935, he went on to create 40 illustrations for an adult fantasy book entitled "Worm's End", penned by Lionel Reed, with whom he had collaborated on children's publications. Editors at the publishing house of Simon and Schuster in New York City, to whom the manuscript was submitted, were impressed by Taylor's artwork and encouraged him to send examples of his cartoons to the New Yorker magazine. After several months of regular submissions which were refused, his drawings began to appear in the New Yorker on a regular basis. In order to be closer to his American publishers, Taylor moved to Bethel, Connecticut, and shortly thereafter married Maxine McTavish, the daughter of Canadian Magazine art critic and editor Newton McTavish who was a family friend of William Lyon Mackenzie King.
Taylor's signature cartoon style was soon in evidence on the pages of many prominent American publications, including Collier's and the Saturday Evening Post. In addition to his humour work, Taylor also worked on a series of watercolours, prints and oils, based on surrealistic creatures and landscapes. An exhibition of works from this series was held in 1940 at the Walker Galleries and the following year at the Valentine Gallery, both in New York City. He also participated in several group shows, including an exhibition on surrealism at the Whitney Museum which later travelled internationally. Taylor continued both facets of his artwork over the next three decades. He expanded his market even further with regular contributions to Playboy and Esquire Magazines. Described by one reviewer as the Rubens of the New Yorker, he was always included in that magazine's enormously popular cartoon annuals, together with such cartooning legends as Peter Arno.
In 1947, the artist authored and illustrated a "how-to" book entitled Introduction to Cartooning which was published by Watson-Guptill Inc. in 1947. He stressed the necessity of honing skills in composition and life drawing before tackling a professional career. Taylor went on to illustrate and publish many of his own humour books. Titles included The Better Taylors (1944), One for the Road (1949), Fractured French (1950), Compound Fractured French (1951), Fall of the Sparrow (1951), By the Dawn's Ugly Light: A Pictorial Study of the Hangover (1953), Never Say Diet (1954), and Nothing Brightens the Garden like Primrose Pants (1955). As well, he published numerous written articles on his humourous observations of everday life.
Richard Taylor was one of the most successful cartoonists in a period which saw the resurgence of the art form, in part due to the prominence given to cartooning by the New Yorker. His more serious works are represented in collections at the Museum of Modern Art, Boston Museum of Fine Art, Albright Art Gallery of Buffalo and the New York Public Library. Taylor died in 1970.
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