Robert Taplin: Punch
For the second installment of PAFA’s Sculpture Plinth Exhibition Program, artist Robert Taplin has created the specially commissioned work The Young Punch Juggling, a 16-foot fiberglass and steel sculpture now installed on the front façade of the Historic Landmark Building. The Young Punch Juggling is the latest piece in Taplin’s series of contemporary takes on the historical Punch figure, placing the iconic Italian trickster in a variety of compromising or precarious positions in present-day settings. The plinth sculpture is accompanied by an installation of Taplin’s work in the galleries of the Historic Landmark Building, including two large-scale sculptures, Punch Makes a Public Confession and Punch is Homeless, as well as a selection of small-scale works.
Robert Taplin is a sculptor based in New Haven, Connecticut, who has executed public commissions for the New York MTA Arts in Transit and the state of Connecticut Percent for Art Program. Taplin has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including grants from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. His work has been exhibited nationally in venues such as MASS MoCA, the Wadsworth Atheneum, and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.
The Sculpture Plinth Exhibition Program, initiated in 2013 with the work BORN TO BEND by KAWS, embracing PAFA's mission to engage the full spectrum of American art — including art made now — in a visceral and highly-visual way. The program presents an annual series of attention-catching art on the plinth of PAFA’s Historic Landmark Building.