Currents 31: Robert Melee

June 18–September 19, 2004
Cudahy Gallery

Currents is an ongoing series at the Milwaukee Art Museum that features the work of contemporary artists. Robert Melee’s work incorporates film, video, photography, painting and sculpture in his elaborate mock suburban installations. For Currents 31, Melee transforms the Cudahy Gallery into an interior of a suburban home, complete with fake wood paneling and furniture wall units, replete with family memorabilia, and brightly colored wall sculptures and paintings.

Every surface of the installation, walls, floors, ceiling and furniture will be covered in fake wood paneling and marbleized paint. The home entertainment units will contain vintage televisions featuring Melee’s home movies—of the artist, his flamboyant mother, and friends—and framed photographs and treasured bottles of liquor. Melee’s work, while seemingly reproducing the mundane and abject nature of a certain kind of working-class suburban experience, actually turns reality on it’s head, offering a sensationalistic and gleefully artificial vision which can only be mistaken for reality in the same way that “reality TV” can.

Robert Melee has had numerous one-person gallery exhibitions, both in Europe and America, and has exhibited at the Corcoran Museum in Washington D.C. and The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield CT.