Born in Buffalo, Rodney Taylor moved to downstate where he studied at the Cooper Union, Fashion Institute of Technology, and Bard College at Annandale-on-Hudson. In 1994, he participated in the Skowhegan art residency program in Maine. He has worked with mixed media, developing a personal style of using paint and clay on canvas.
In 2008, his work was the focus of a solo exhibition at Hallwalls, curated by John Massier. Although in multiple group exhibitions in Buffalo, this was his first solo exhibition in his hometown. Taylor's work has been included In more than 20 group exhibitions nationally. Two notable exhibition at UB Art Galleries in 2010 and 2014. His work was also the feature of solo exhibitions at Eleven Twenty Projects and Nina Freudenheim Gallery in Buffalo.
Taylor's 2014 exhibtion at UB Art Galleries was a 20-year survey, Impure Abstraction. There his process and theme were revealed:
Taylor works in the most primitive method of painting, using his hands to apply earth and pigment on a surface. Exhausting abstraction as an instrument, these paintings are not predetermined, as the materials sometimes dictate the outcome. A process of understanding what can be controlled, while having a serene acceptance of what can’t, Taylor describes the paintings as, “the unbearable burden of the black and white... grey.”
Taylor has had work shown nationally in New York City, Buffalo, Miami, and other places. His paintings have been acquired by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Burchfield Penney Art Center and Roswell Park Cancer Institute, as well as by important private collectors, including those of artists Brice Marden, Donald Baechler, Ray Smith, Saint Clair Cemin, Emma Amos, and Not Vital, among others.