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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Image courtesy of the artist and James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai. Photo: Jason Mandella.


Artist: Alison Elizabeth Taylor (born 1973)
Date: 2007-2008
96 x 120 x 96 in.(243.8 x 304.8 x 243.8 cm)
Medium: Wood veneer, pyrography, and shellac
Credit Line: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2010.61
On View
Accession Number: 2010.61
Provenanceto Peter Tillou; to (James Cohan Gallery, New York, NY); purchased by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, 2010
Label TextTaylor turns the Renaissance-era craft of marquetry on its head. In the European tradition, such labor-intensive artistry often decorated the luxurious and refined interiors of the elite. Taylor, by contrast, uses the technique to explore the ordinary, mundane, and disconcerting aspects of modern American life.

In Room, the diverse colors, grains, and textures of a variety of wood species define an intimate domestic space. Opposing windows provide visual tension: the isolated desert environment seen through one is threatened by the encroachment of suburban development visible through the other. Taylor’s idiosyncratic selection and placement of personal items and common household objects invites us to imagine who might inhabit this room.