Like much of Tacla's work, his paintings represent a space of social rupture. These works situate themselves in the joints of a new architecture that arises in the wake of catastrophe—natural or man-made. Tacla perceives the devastation that results from such events as an opportunity to investigate structural systems that would otherwise remain unseen. To signify such unsettled worlds, he uses pictorial languages that are obsessive: sometimes repeating the images, sometimes repeating the same gesture in the same space many times until the visual register is analogous to the trauma that prompts it. Tacla illuminates the variability of identity for victim and aggressor–an agent who is disassociated from his or her own identity–and the complexity of the assessment of guilt. These critical issues, and their situation in the larger, collective human experience, are the defining theoretical inquiries of Tacla's work.Read More
Tacla 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. Recent notable exhibitions include: Gran Sur: Arte contemporáneo chileno en la colección Engel, Sala Alcalá 31, curated by Cristián Viveros-Fauné, 25 February–26 April , Madrid, Spain; THE VISIBLE TURN: Contemporary Artists Confront Political Invisibility, USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, 11 January–2 March, 2019; _Jorge Tacla: Todo lo sólido se desvanece _at CorpArtes, Santiago Chile, 2017–2018; Jorge Tacla: Sign of Abandonment at Cristin Tierney Gallery, New York, NY, 2017; Let there be light, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Identidad Oculta curated by Adam Glick at New York City Center, New York, NY, 2016; Upheaval at Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA, 2016; Hidden Identities: Paintings and Drawings by Jorge Tacla at the Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, DC, 2015–2016; Jorge Tacla: Hidden Identities at Cristin Tierney Gallery, New York, NY, 2015; Identidades Ocultas at El Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos, Santiago, Chile, 2014; Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, 2014; the Emergency Pavilion at the 55th Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy, 2013; Doble Vida at Galeria Lucia de la Puente, Lima, Peru, 2013; Dublin Contemporary, Dublin, Ireland, 2011; Sharjah Biennial 10, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, 2011; Altered Remains at Cristin Tierney Gallery, New York, 2011; and the 798 Biennale, Beijing, China, 2009. 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.
In 2019 the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art has 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.
Throughout his career, Tacla has been awarded numerous grants and fellowships. Most recently, Tacla completed a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy (2013). Notable awards include New York Foundation for the Arts (1987, 1991); the Eco Art Award, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1992); and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1988), among others.
Tacla lives and works in New York City and Santiago, Chile.
Text courtesy Sabrina Amrani.