Robert Taplin’s exhibition at Mass MoCA

“These Days: Elegies for Modern Times,”  April 4th – February 28th 2010 

'We Went in Without a Fight (Through the Gates of Dis), 92" x 62" x 66"

“We Went in Without a Fight (Through the Gates of Dis),”  92″ x 62″ x 66″

Robert Taplin likens this dynamic to Dante’s “Inferno” in his series of awe-inspiring dioramas, “Everything Imagined Is Real (After Dante).” Taking the levels of Hell and shifting them into a contemporary setting, Taplin retraces the story in apocalyptic terms. Starting from ordinary American bedrooms and dining rooms, and stretching into multiple end of the world scenes, Taplin transitions into chilling urban scenarios that are reminiscent many end of the world flicks — except somehow more nightmarish.”

“In his clever use of materials, Taplin echoes the dioramas many of us have encountered in natural history museums. Instead of representing the dawn of civilization — some nice primitive tribe of cave dwellers — he’s focusing on the end of it. You don’t see a lot of dioramas anymore — they are an art form of science populism past that Taplin is using to bend tradition back on itself to reveal a speculative horror from times yet to come.”

-An excerpt from: North Adams Transcript (MA), “At MoCA, yesterday’s coming back tomorrow,” by John E. Mitchell, April 9th, 2009.