Mel Ziegler at Cheekwood

Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum
Over the holidays, I visited the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum in Nashville for the first time and was transported to another era by the 55-acre gardens and gorgeous architecture that evokes 18th century England.  It’s a real gem that surely is even better in the warmer months.  On view was a small show of Mel Ziegler’s work focused on ideas relating to the military and war.  My favorite artwork Rock Hard Individualism is a wall sculpture consisting of over a hundred “rock faces” arranged in the shape of the United States.  In concept, it reminds me so much of Korean artist Do-Ho Suh’s work.  Like Suh’s use of hundreds of military dog tags to create a single shape, Ziegler’s faces could be viewed as both distinct and homogenous. Ultimately, it seems both Suh and Ziegler are challenging the fine line in military culture between strength in numbers and conformity versus individualism. Check out my article in Review Magazine for more of my perspective on the show.
Do-Ho Suh, Some/One
Mel Ziegler, Rock Hard Individualism

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