Oppenheimer’s Chair, 1995 (Commissioned for the Site Santa Fe International Biennia)
Eden Turned On Its Side, (2009-present)
Eden in Iraq, 2014
Meridel Rubenstein is an American artist, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, who juxtaposes highly-charged materials and concepts to champion an awareness of how we are connected to place, towards healing the ideological distances that alienate us. Drawing multiple metaphors, she reconciles relationships between unlikely subjects that challenge our notions of place and reweaves the tenuous threads that give meaning to our sense of belonging and home.
An active arts educator for over 30 years, she was the Harnish Visiting Artist at Smith College, in Northampton, Massachusetts (1990-95) and created photography programs at the College of Santa Fe (1976-80) and the Institute of American Indian Arts in New Mexico(1990-96) and directed the Photography Program at San Francisco State University in California (1985-90). Since 2007, she has been a Visiting Associate Professor at the School of Art, Design, and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. A recent Adjunct Professor at the School of Sustainability, Arizona State University and Research Associate, Institute of Ecotechnics, Santa ,NM and UK,she began her professional career in the early 1970s, evolving from photography to site and culturally-specific multi-media installations.Oppenheimer’s Chair(1995) was a meditation on nature and the shedding of defensive postures after 50 years of the Cold War and commissioned for the first SITE Santa Fe International Biennial. BELONGING: Los Alamos to Vietnam, Photoworks and Installations, a major monograph of twenty years of her work, was published in 200 Her newest work, Eden Turned On Its Side (2009-present)is an ongoing, 3-part project – Photosynthesis, The Volcano Cycle, and Eden in Iraq – that looks at ecological processes across time that either reinforce or destroy the notion of Eden. In Eden in Iraq, Meridel is co-designing a wastewater garden/memorial site that aims to transform relics of war into art. Eden Turned on its Side focuses on intersections of nature and culture in relationship to ecological and social imbalance.
She has exhibited widely including the Louvre in Paris and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, while her works are in prominent collections including the National Museum of American Art in Washington, the San Francisco Museum of Art, and the Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany. She has also received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Bunting Institute at Harvard University, awards from the National Endowment of the Arts, as well as the Pollock-Krasner and Rockefeller Foundations.