If you were looking for an artist who takes to heart Jasper Johns’ advice – “Do something, do something to that, and then do something to that” — Christopher Taggart would be your man. (Yes, I realize I’m recycling this quote from a recent review, but in Taggart’s case it truly applies.) Straight out of art school, Taggart achieved the art world equivalent of a moon shot by landing representation at Ace Gallery. The nine-year relationship dissolved in 2009, but the innovations that brought him there continue –a fact recognized by San Francisco dealer Eli Ridgway and by Renny Pritikin, the curator of this show, Time Fugitives. It’s a tidy but representative sampling of the Berkeley artist’s achievements to date.
Taggart makes photo collages that resemble mosaics that have been shattered and painstakingly reassembled. His sculptures, built of photographic prints, physically replicate and sometimes exaggerate – in three dimensions — the same objects he photographs. Video projections, which work hand-in-glove with wall installations, hover between surveillance and portraiture, while his photo-derived portraits on paper appear as ghosts of a sort you would not want haunting your dreams. Taggart also makes etchings on aluminum whose lines dance in mid-air, like some sort of electric filament spun into webs by a hyperkinetic insect. (This fall, a 50-foot tall example of the latter will go up at the new School of Veterinary Medicine building on the UC Davis campus.)
About the author:
David M. Roth is the editor and publisher of Squarecylinder.