Museum & Gallery Exhibits > America Starts Here: Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler

America Starts Here: Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler

America Starts Here: Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler.

Showing at the Austin Museum of Art

Pictured: America Starts Here, 1988,
Broken glass, fiberglass replacement windows, and etched plexiglas panels in frames
two framed photographs, 126 x 552 inches overall,
Courtesy of Mel Ziegler, Austin, Texas,
From the exhibition: America Starts Here: Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler.

I went see the exhibit “America Starts Here: Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler at AMOA downtown.  I also went to the gallery talk today. I love the work, and the ideas behind it. I highly recommend that you make it to this exhibit, if you get a chance.

The show runs February 10 – May 6, 2007; Mel Zeigler will be having a gallery talk on his work on Thursday, February 22, 7 pm. I hope I can make it.

This work is multi-layered and very thought-provoking. Very inspirational!  I loved this wall of window glass from a factory in Philadelphia.

Here are some notes from the catalog:

Originally conceived for an exhibition in Philadelphia, America Starts Here displays Ericson and Ziegler’s interest in American history and use of mapping as a method of approaching their work. The title is a direct quotation of a tourist slogan used by the state of Pennsylvania during the 1980s, recalling the origins of the United States and the utopian ideals of the country’s founding fathers. Yet the piece itself encourages a view of American history more complex than the optimistic boosterism of the slogan.

To make America Starts Here, the artists removed broken windows and fiberglass replacement panels from the former National Licorice Company factory at 1301-19 Washington Avenue, Philadelphia, and replaced them with new windows. All of the broken panels are framed between sheets of glass sandblasted with the paths of well-known trails, canals, rivers, and railroads, or tracings of cracks found in architectural elements in the former and current national capital cities of Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, DC. The removed windows are displayed in the configuration found at the factory. Their lines echo the cracked features of two of Philadelphia’s most beloved tourist attractions, the Liberty Bell and the broken glass of Marcel Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass).

You can find out more about this exhibit online at the Tang Gallery.

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