ABOUT USEstablished in Santa Barbara, California, in 2004, Left Coast Books is a bookstore and art
gallery that specializes in ART BOOKS,
offering thousands of titles on painting, sculpture, graphic arts,
architecture, design, photography, film, video, and performance art. We also
sell classics, literary fiction, history, and a broad variety of useful
academic books. We are open by appointment only.
The owner, Simon Taylor, was born in England and lived in New York from 1988 to 2003, working as a museum curator and
art critic. He curated “Abject Art” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in
1993, and a series of exhibitions at Guild Hall Museum, East
Hampton, NY, in the early 2000s, where he held the position of
Curator. His writings have appeared in Art
in America, Afterimage, Art + Text, Third Text, World Art,
and in numerous exhibition catalogues.
Taylor is the most radical art historian of his generation. Nothing beats the ferocity and historical consciousness that informs his writings on the Korean War, the NO!art movement, and feminist art of the sixties and seventies. He has lived in California since 2003 and is writing a scathing memoir about his experiences in the artworld, entitled Manifest Destiny: In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran.
New York. c. 1993
Left Coast Books, 2010
Phobic Object: Abjection in Contemporary Art."
In: NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.
New York: New Museum of Contemporary Art,
Excremental Vision: No!art, 1959-1964.”
Lurie: No! New York and Philadelphia:
Boris Lurie Art Foundation and
'Exotic' is Uncannily Close." In: “It’s
a Poor Sort of Memory That Only Works
Backwards”: On the Work of Johan
Grimonprez.Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje
Cantz Verlag, 2011.
An excerpt from Simon Taylor's forthcoming memoir, Manifest Destiny: In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran:
Most educated people have
heard of the "Hamptons." A lot of ignorant people, too, readers of
gossip columns and those who crave the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Some
of us have visited there on busy summer weekends, braving the traffic on the
Long Island Expressway (which slows to a crawl along the Montauk Highway), to lounge on the beautiful sandy beaches, gaze at
the pretty windmills, and look enviously at the McMansions barely visible
behind massive privet hedges. But few people, except the most privileged among
us, can boast that they have ever lived there. Having an address in Southampton, Bridgehampton, or East Hampton, is a sign that you have made it, that you belong to America's elite. For a couple of years, I was one of the
privileged few who called East
Hampton my home. My
neighbors included Paul McCartney ("I live in Amagansett, or as I call it,
I'm a gangster"), Steven Spielberg, and Martha Stewart.
As you ride on the Jitney (the coach service from Manhattan
with the quaint nineteenth-century name) and turn left at the traffic light
into the village of East Hampton, the second house on your left, at 229 Main
Street, facing the pond in the most picturesque part of the Hamptons, is a ramshackle
Queen Anne-style building that looks like a haunted house, with a turret, gables and
creeping ivy. It originally belonged to (and was designed by) the great American
landscape painter Thomas Moran. When I lived there at the beginning of the
millennium (that sounds more grand than the "early 2000s"), a
100-year-old woman, who purchased the house from the Morans in the 1940s,
received round-the-clock nursing care downstairs, while I entertained an
assortment of visitors (artists and girlfriends, mostly) in my upstairs domain.
Back then, the house looked completely neglected and, for all I know, it still
looks that way. I hated East Hampton and to this day I refuse to set foot in the place
(more on that subject later), but I adored living in that wild and crazy house.