The Jules Maeght Gallery is proud to present Bernard Gwilliam and the Quantum Modernism, the first solo exhibition by local artist Zio Ziegler at the Hayes Valley gallery. The exhibition will be Ziegler’s first public display of his recent foray into sculptural work, featuring seven monumental bronze sculptures that complement his large-scale oil and acrylic paintings. Additionally, it introduces Ziegler’s newly defined philosophy of what he calls “Quantum Modernism”- the meeting point between contemporary modes of seeing and the development of visual arts.
Bernard Gwilliam and the Quantum Modernism marks a shift in Ziegler’s work. Known to be prolific in both his gallery exhibitions and murals worldwide, this exhibition presents a cohesive group of paintings and sculptures dedicated to a yearlong investigation, into both formal properties and his own identity. While the work is distinctly recognizable, there is a clear formal evolution, marked by the tight color palette and often highly detailed and refined brushstrokes. Ziegler’s newest canvases, which he considers open source allegories, are a form of modern history painting. Laden with symbols, cultural and historic references, citations to literary and art history these rich and textured paintings, draw from philosophy, mathematics and mythology.
Ziegler’s theory of Quantum Modernism builds on the philosophy of French structuralist Roland Barthes who understood the text or artwork as limited by focusing on the creator’s influence. Quantum Modernism accepts that any given audience has a near in nite amount of information that is rapidly accessible, thus the context behind a given artwork is provided by the audience themselves, rather than the artist. As Barthes notes in the essay The Death of the Author, “the unity in a text lies not in its origins, but in its destination.” Ziegler’s works are so layered, that a single viewer can understand a single artwork in multiple ways from different perspectives simultaneously. Concurrently, the pseudonym Bernard Gwilliam, which fuses the name of Ziegler’s grandfather with his mother’s maiden name, further indicates the artist’s attempt to remove his own name and influence from the search for meaning.
The exhibition displays numerous new manifestations of Ziegler’s relentless creativity. The question of identity is pertinent in numerous works, as the artist’s own image is often apparent. However it is through his own self-portraiture that Ziegler questions the longevity and importance of authorship. For the first time, bronze sculptures accompany works on canvas. Towering over the viewer, the transition from two dimensions to three is seamless in both formal and conceptual execution. Alongside the large scale work, Ziegler created his first original etching, printed by the ARTE-Maeght Printshop in Paris. A catalog will be published to accompany the exhibition.
Zio Ziegler is an American painter and sculptor born in 1988. He graduated from RISD in 2010. He currently lives and works in San Francisco.