Taplin received a BA in Medieval Studies from Pomona College in 1973. He has exhibited throughout the US, most recently at Winston Wachter Fine Arts (New York) and MASSMOCA (North Adams). He has executed Public Commissions for the State of Connecticut and the New York MTA. He has received 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 featured in publications such as ARTnews, Art in America, Sculpture Magazine and The New York Times. He has also written extensively on sculpture, most prominently for Art in America, and published a number of articles and dozens of individual reviews. He is represented by Winston Wachter Fine Arts (New York).