Mr. Taylor’s poignant and exuberant works entered the repertory of numerous dance companies.
His own company has been one of the world’s superlative troupes.
Paul Taylor, who brought a lyrical musicality, capacity for joy and wide poetic
imagination to modern dance over six decades as one of its greatest choreographers, died on Wednesday in a Manhattan hospital.
He was 88.
The cause was renal failure, said Lisa Labrado, a spokeswoman for the Paul Taylor Dance Company.
Mr. Taylor, whose highly diverse style was born in radical experimentalism in the 1950s, created poignant and exuberant works that entered the repertory of numerous dance companies.
His own company, eloquent and athletic, has been one of the world’s superlative troupes.
As a strikingly gifted dancer in his 20s, Mr. Taylor created roles for the master choreographers Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham and George Balanchine.
He had piercing blue eyes, the power and musculature of a skilled athlete and an incisive, outgoing — but also elusive — personality.
Throughout the 1950s, he also made dances of his own — 18 of them with Robert Rauschenberg as his designer, two with music commissioned from John Cage.
In 1960, he began to collaborate with the painter Alex Katz; though they worked together only from time to time, they continued to do so until 2014, and made two of Mr.
Taylor’s most exceptional works, the highly dissimilar “Sunset” (1983) and “Last Look” (1985).