Found object on a barn in Tennessee, 2010
60” x 82”
Courtesy the artist
Vanderbilt Artists Exhibit
Work by Artists from Vanderbilt University's Department of Art
(October 21 – December 9, 2010)
Mel Ziegler began his undergraduate studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, later transferring to the Kansas City Art Institute to complete his BFA in 1978. He earned an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia in 1982. It was in Kansas City that he met Kate Ericson, his future artistic collaborator of 18 years. Together, Ericson and Ziegler made influential site-specific installations and objects concerned with mapping trajectories, questioning history, and highlighting the specificity of places and communities—all themes that had also been important for Ziegler in his early solo works. After the tragic and premature death of his partner Kate Ericson in 1995, Ziegler has continued to show works nationally and internationally. He earned a Loeb Fellowship for study at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University in 1996-97. In 2003, works from the previous ten years were shown in stuffed, a solo exhibition with an accompanying catalogue at the Galerie of the Secession, Vienna, Austria. He has exhibited and lectured extensively throughout the United States, Europe and South America. Examples of recent works by Ziegler can be viewed at www.melziegler.com.
Mel Ziegler has been one of the most consistent proponents of an expanded in-situ concept since the nineties. In his projects that are located in both exhibition spaces and urban spaces, he explores how the circumstances of public life and social space are reflected in the architecture and "design" of cities. At the same time, his work focuses on the question of the hidden historical and social-political manifestations of representation. In order to reveal and manipulate these, Mel Ziegler uses the most diverse materials to create complex reference systems, in which individual and collective history converge.