Life partners and an artistic duo, Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler are known for site-specific installations and objects concerned with mapping trajectories, questioning history, and highlighting the specificity of places and communities. They have been working together from the late 1970s until Ericson's death in 1995.
Born in 1956 in Campbelltown, Pennsylvania, Ziegler began his undergraduate studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, later transferring to the Kansas City Art Institute. He earned an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia in 1982. He lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee, where he is the current chair of the Department of Art at Vanderbilt University. Born in Manhattan in 1955, Ericson earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1978 and a master's from the California Institute of the Arts in 1982.
The couple met as undergraduates and began working together in 1978, developing a style that featured provocative accumulations of materials and ideas, many of them involved with architecture, American history and the economy. Through their practice, they synthesized conceptual, land art, and interventionist strategies, often working directly with local iconography, sites, and communities across America.
Featured image: Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler - Where the Water Goes, 1987. Water, glass, metal, plastic. 11 1/2 × 53 1/2 × 5 1/4 in. 29.2 × 135.9 × 13.3 cm. Photo courtesy Perrotin