Jude Tallichet

Born in Louisville, Kentucky

Resides in Queens, New York 

Staring at a word, reading it over and over, the shapes begin to lose meaning and start to look strange, alien. Bringing this kind of focus to an object does something similar, and the more ubiquitous that object the odder it becomes. The fire escape, your neighbor’s automobile, a morning muffin, each of these starts to lose meaning or gain new facets the more we turn our attention toward it. Placing value in the nuanced structures of life helps one to more fully appreciate existence. When we question these items, it opens a new dialogue into how we live as humans in this world.

Jude Tallichet reinvents the ordinary in an effort to defamiliarize our everyday surroundings. By doing so, she invites a reassessment of what we may take for granted. Working in multiple media, Tallichet’s objects and installations frequently take cues from the body, the mundane, and the space around her, creating tangible links to the physical world as catalysts for further thought. Each cast car part, aluminum foil maquette, and reimagined tableau urges the viewer to consider the constant flux of our own lives. Works like “Fire Escape” (2020) are one-to-one duplicates of real-world referents that Tallichet passes through a sieve of dissociation. Pieces like “Bear Rug” (2008) trade living texture for cast, disquieting facsimile. By creating skewed copies that play with ideas of stability, formal weight, and naturalism, she introduces uncertainty and vulnerability into formerly supportive or recognizable items. Joy Sperling, talking about Tallichet’s 2020 exhibition “Heat Map” at Smack Mellon, notes, “By recreating heavy and substantial objects with aluminum and other lightweight materials, Tallichet undercuts their heft with a sense of impermanence and instability.” (J. Sperling, “Art for a Time of Uncertainty,” Hyperallergic, April 25, 2020). But Tallichet does more than highlight the physicality of these things, she asks us to reconsider their very existence and the ‘aura’ (a term she has used in the past) that they radiate into our lives. In some instances, as in the buoyant “Piano Forte” (2017), the crossover into anthropomorphism by way of sprouted limbs further inserts a pronounced humanity into this previously static form.

Tallichet’s career has been marked by an exultant insistence on the power of sculptural forms. Evolving as an artist over the years, her beginnings in installation and multimedia laid the groundwork for a mastery of material finesse that imbues even the most simple object with the ability to make grand statements on quotidian experiences.

In addition to this sculptural practice, the artist has also maintained several performative ventures over the years. Coming together in sound installations like “There’s Honey On the Moon” (1999), which marries architectural form with recordings of Tallichet’s own arrangements, this ability to infuse performative aspects into discrete objects speaks to the artist’s interest in the life of her works and the layers of time-based understanding therein. Her currently ongoing project, the collaborative venture with artist Adam Chad Brody titled “Party Crickets”, serves as a musical and educational strategy to both perform with live crickets (who chirp along with the two performers’ instrumental stylings) as well as to instruct the public on the agricultural and culinary aspects of cricket farming.

Tallichet has exhibited nationally and internationally in venues such as the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, the Burnet Gallery in Minneapolis, the Konsthallen in Gothenburg, Sweden, The Shanghai Biennial in China, The Busan Biennial in South Korea, The Tirana Biennial in Albania, the Officina America exhibition in Bologna, Italy, and at Pierogi Gallery in Leipzig, Germany. In New York, she was included in the inaugural Greater New York Show at MoMA PS1, Treble at Sculpture Center, and Brooklyn Next at the Brooklyn Museum. From 2000 to 2009, she had six solo exhibitions at Sara Meltzer Gallery in New York. Her Cricket Farm project is on view at Children’s Museum of the Arts, New York, until May 2020. Tallichet spent a year in Brazil as a Senior Fulbright Fellow in 1996 and has received fellowships in sculpture from the National Endowment for the Arts and New York Foundation for the Arts. She has participated in residencies at the Rosa de la Cruz Collection, the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, and the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbertide, Italy. She is Professor Emeritus, Sculpture, at Tyler School of Art. Tallichet earned an MFA in sculpture from the University of Montana.