Michael Taylor was born in Sydney on 15 October 1933. He studied at East Sydney Technical College, Darlinghurst, from 1949 to 1953, graduating with a diploma in painting. He was awarded the New South Wales Government Travelling Scholarship in 1960, which funded his residence in Europe for the following three years. In 1979 he received the H.C. Coombs Creative Arts Fellowship at the Australian National University.
Taylor has exhibited extensively since 1964, with 45 solo exhibitions in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne between 1964 and 2011; including six shows at the Watters Gallery in Sydney between 1967–73; three exhibitions at Rex Irwin Art Dealer, Sydney, between 1984–88; and Exhibition swing (Collages by Michael Taylor), Canberra Museum and Gallery, in 2006. His works have been included in numerous national and international survey exhibitions; including Biennale des Jeunes, Paris, in 1963; and Contemporary Australian paintings, Los Angeles, in 1966; L’Ete Australian a Montpelier, Montpelier, France, in 1990; I had a dream, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, in 1997; and Moist, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, in 2005. Taylor is known for his sophisticated expressive paintings, generally abstractions of the natural environment, and his work is represented in all the state galleries in Australia, numerous regional galleries, and many private collections. He lives and works in Cooma, New South Wales.