New York

Jorge Tacla

Ramis Barquet

Jorge Tacla paints a political wasteland: The pathos in his series “Rubble” is rooted in a sense of political betrayal. Tacla, who is Chilean, bore witness to the overthrow of Salvador Allende’s social democratic government, Allende’s subsequent murder, and his replacement by General Augusto Pinochet, whose military dictatorship was supported by the United States. For Tacla, the events were a repeat of the Spanish Civil War—the catastrophic return of barbarism in the name of fascist dogma. The oppressive regime left Chile in ruins, morally and physically. The situation finally proved too much for Tacla, a supporter of Allende and a political activist, and in 1981 he left Santiago for New York.

But the memory of what Tacla had seen haunted him, becoming the theme of his art. Though sometimes filtered through another urban environment—the disfigured buildings in the “Rubble” paintings (

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