Jude Tallichet: Heat Map

Smack Mellon

92 Plymouth Street

Jude Tallichet, Heat Map, 2020, installation view. Foreground: Heat Map, 2018, Forton, metal braces, expandable foam; Upper left: Ghost Bike 1 and 2, 2016, aluminum foil, metal armatures; Upper right, Wriggle, 2018, polyurethane, interior armature. Image courtesy of Smack Mellon. Photo: Etienne Frossard.

Jude Tallichet fabricates sculptures of mundane items using materials drawn largely from the construction industry, such as acrylic, gypsum and rolled aluminum foil to remake the quotidian into the fantastic. Sidewalk curbs, motorcycles, fire escapes, and upright pianos are transformed to reveal their inherent power with an energy entirely separate from our own. Tallichet explains, “The vitality of these things could be magical, or it just could be life as we don’t quite know it.” She doesn’t mind the uncertainty; in fact, she embraces it. Stripped of intended purpose, ​each sculpture represents a once functional object reborn with a fresh new role to play.

At Smack Mellon, Tallichet’s ​exhibition features recent works that depict a world on the verge of dystopia; inanimate objects awaken as hybrid creatures inhabiting a roiling landscape in the throes of irreversible transformation, destruction and reconfiguration.​ The city becomes a staging ground for clashes between the organic and inorganic, the active and inert.​ ​Cerberus​ is a three-headed bobcat that appears to be an amalgamation of animal, plant, and mineral. ​Heat Map,​ a cast from a sprawling tree trunk on a sidewalk in Queens, represents the clash between urban space and natural landscape. The artist was intrigued by the sight of a massive trunk and its root system lifting up the pavement and breaking the curb and asphalt. Colored with rare earth pigments and resembling a volcano, the pattern running across this sculpture refers to heat maps used to detail weather and climate. Viewers are reminded that green space is not only social but political as well. Cast in aluminum foil, ​Piano Forte​ undulates, crumples, and leaps off the ground, like the crinkled spirit of what a piano once was. Fine wood details from the original instrument are visible in the crushed foil. Silver legs, flexed at the ankle, jut out from the bottom, as if propelling the wild machine into the air.


Jude Tallichet

Born in Louisville, KY, Tallichet currently lives and works in Queens, NY. She 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.