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.
- Jules Maeght Gallery