Hidden Identities: Paintings and Drawings by Jorge Tacla

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October 2, 2015
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Greg Svitil | T: 202.370.0147
[email protected] | AMAmuseum.org

Hidden Identities: Paintings and Drawings by Jorge Tacla

Organization of American States
201 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006

Opening Reception | Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 6pm
On view through January 31, 2016

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10AM - 5 PM
Closed Mondays and Federal Holidays

WASHINGTON, DC – The OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas in partnership with Cristin Tierney Gallery, New York and the Embassy of Chile in Washington, D.C.  present Hidden Identities: Paintings and Drawings by Jorge Tacla, an exhibition curated by María José Bunster Baeza (Museo de la Memoria, Chile).

Hidden Identities is comprised of an ongoing series of paintings and drawings that address the  themes of mutability of identity, collective memory, and the physical and psychological fallout of trauma. Much of the inspiration for this body of work comes from the sociopolitical and historical events of the artist’s life. On September 11, 1973, Tacla lived through the violent coup d’etat in Chile. In the years that followed, he witnessed the far-reaching social and political consequences of this aggression, which continue to impact inter-American relations and Chilean society today. Decades later, the artist was also in New York during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; events that, as the coup had years before, dealt horror and devastation on an international scale, with lingering effects.

Previously exhibited at the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos in Santiago, Chile, and Cristin Tierney Gallery in NY, Hidden Identities refers to the complicated relationship between victim and aggressor, and the thorny social and psychological processes by which guilt is assigned or accepted. In Tacla’s work, broken psychic landscapes are mirrored by their physical counterparts. Figures are fragmented or twisted; buildings are bombed out, abandoned, or appear as piles of rubble; and compositions are quiet and nearly airless — capturing the dazed moment following an action. Beyond Chile and New York, other subjects embraced by Tacla include the city of Granada after the attack by Colombia’s FARC and the bombed Federal Building in Oklahoma City, among others.

AMA presents Hidden Identities as exemplary of its mission of highlighting artwork promoting human rights, democracy, and peace as core values of the Organization of American States. AMA Director Andrés Navia states that Hidden Identities is a clear example of AMA’s trajectory showcasing artists that masterfully combine artistic craftsmanship and refined aesthetics with a politically and sociologically infused message; in Tacla’s case, investigating the after-effects of mass violence.

Jorge Tacla is represented by Cristin Tierney Gallery.  Founded in 2010, Cristin Tierney Gallery is a contemporary art gallery committed to the development and support of both established and emerging artists. The international exhibition program emphasizes critical theory and art history, with an attendant interest in under-recognized artists and art movements of the twentieth and twenty-first century.  

Exhibition curator María José Bunster Baeza is the General Coordinator and Head of Museography and Exhibitions at the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos, where she oversees the museum’s permanent and temporary exhibitions, adopting varied curatorial approaches and perspectives so that viewers may connect with the events that occurred in Chile during the military dictatorship from September 11, 1973 to March 11, 1990. Ms. Bunster coordinates temporary exhibits of national and international artists dealing with issues concerning human rights and memory, all aimed at creating a dynamic dialogue that looks critically at the permanent exhibition, in an attempt to elicit new insights and readings from a contemporary art point of view. She studied Art History and Theory at the Universidad de Chile, and was the Executive Director of the Museo de Artes Visuales (MAVI) / Colección Santa Cruz – Yaconi, from 2002 to 2010. She lives and works in Santiago, Chile.