September 9, 2022 - October 22, 2022
Cristin Tierney Gallery is pleased to announce Stagings/Escenarios, an exhibition of dynamic, expansive paintings by Jorge Tacla, curated by Christian Viveros-Fauné. This is Tacla’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery and will run concurrently with a presentation of his work at The Armory Show in New York. Stagings/Escenarios opens the evening of Friday, September 9th, with a reception from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The artist will be present.
Jorge Tacla’s work is informed by abuses of power and the resulting destruction. His paintings often depict landscapes of cultural significance and the remnants of sites leveled by uprising and warfare, communicating the complex narratives these places represent. More recently, he has turned his attention to civil unrest. In Stagings/Escenarios, Tacla’s focuses on the proliferation of such scenes around the world while formally taking on a vertiginous spatial dynamic.
Prior to this body of work, Tacla largely excluded the human figure from his paintings, letting buildings and rubble suggest a human presence or intervention. His practice shifted after personally processing images of political rallies in the U.S., Chile, Lebanon and Hong Kong, China, in 2019-20. October 25, 2019, #4 (2022) is emblematic of this new mode, depicting some of the estimated 1.2 million protesters that gathered across Chile’s capital, Santiago. In Hidden Identities 160 (2021), the artist shows—in red, white, blue and black—the monumental plinth that once supported the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, VA, a recent locus of social justice protests in the U.S. Tacla’s crowds are abstracted to the point of unrecognizability, emphasizing the strength, dynamism and anonymous power of mass demonstrations, underscoring the need to protect the identities of those involved while inviting viewers to place themselves within the work.
Tacla paints with a mixture of oil and cold wax, creating a tactile surface that he compares to a skin. In these new works, he places the viewer at the center of the action, shifting their understanding of his discrete paintings while inviting them to question where they stand in relation to the whole. Hung traditionally or leaned against vertical wooden structures, his canvases are conceived as both stand-alone works as well as fragments of room-sized installations.
Tacla’s paintings also represent a space of social rupture. Some are defined by the new architectures that arise in the wake of catastrophe, others by the massing of social forces that represent change in themselves. Tacla perceives the devastation that results from such events as an opportunity to investigate structural systems that would otherwise remain unseen. These critical issues, and their situation in the larger, collective human experience, are the defining theoretical inquiries of Tacla's work.
Running concurrently with his exhibition, the gallery will present a selection of Jorge Tacla’s work at the Armory Show 2022. The booth is featured in the Focus section curated by Carla Acevedo-Yates, Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago. The Armory Show opens with a preview day on Thursday, September 8th, and continues through Sunday, September 11th.
Jorge Tacla (b. Santiago, Chile) studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes, Universidad de Chile in Santiago and moved to New York in 1981. Since then, Tacla’s paintings have been exhibited internationally in museums, biennials, and galleries. Notable exhibitions include: Jorge Tacla: Historia Natural de la Destrucción, Il Posto; El Cuarto Mundo, 14 Bienal de Artes Mediales de Chile, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago; The Visible Turn: Contemporary Artists Confront Political Invisibility, USF Contemporary Art Museum; Jorge Tacla: Todo lo sólido se desvanece, CorpArtes; Upheaval, Tufts University Art Gallery; Hidden Identities: Paintings and Drawings by Jorge Tacla, Art Museum of the Americas; Jorge Tacla: Identidades Ocultas, Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos; The Emergency Pavilion, 55 Biennale di Venezia; Jorge Tacla: Drawings, Milwaukee Art Museum, Jorge Tacla: Epicentro, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago; Jorge Tacla: Epicentro, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires; Jorge Tacla: Art at the Edge, High Museum of Art; The New Portrait, MoMA PS1. He has also completed several permanent installations including a mixed-media mural at the Museo de la Memoria y Los Derechos Humanos in Santiago, Chile and murals for the Bronx Housing Court, a division of the Civil Court of New York City.
Tacla’s work is held in, among others, the collections of Tufts University, Wake Forest University, High Museum of Art, Museo de Arte Moderno, Blanton Museum of Art, California Center for the Arts, Milwaukee Art Museum, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. The Smithsonian's Archives of American Art acquired the papers of Jorge Tacla, including his drawings, correspondence, photographs, notebooks, and clippings. His holdings span nearly forty years and provide a look into the fluctuating histories of the New York and Santiago art worlds.
Tacla lives and works in New York City and Santiago, Chile.
Christian Viveros-Fauné (b. Santiago, Chile) has worked as a gallerist, art fair director, art critic, and curator since 1994. He was awarded the University of South Florida’s Kennedy Family Visiting Fellowship in 2018, a Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Grant in 2009 and named Critic in Residence at the Bronx Museum in 2011. He co-founded The Brooklyn Rail in 1999, wrote art criticism for the Village Voice from 2008 to 2016, was the Art and Culture Critic for artnet news from 2016 to 2018, and has additionally served as Chief Critic for Artland and Sotheby’s in other words. He has lectured widely at institutions such as Yale University, Pratt University and Holland’s Gerrit Rietveld Academie. He currently serves as Curator- at-Large at the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum and writes for the Village Voice 2.0. He was recently appointed Artistic Director for the 2023 Converge 45 biennial (Portland, Oregon). He is also the author of several books. His most recent, Social Forms: A Short History of Political Art, was published by David Zwirner Books in 2018.