For her third show at Sadie Coles HQ, Andrea Zittel has made a new body of work highlighting the connection between concept, function and technology (or craft). For Zittel these three elements naturally exist in any man made object or entity and the way something looks, the way it functions and the way it is made are of equal interest and importance. The works fall under the loose heading of A-Z Advanced Technologies - a cross section of the creative output of A-Z West, Zittel’s home, workshop and testing ground in Joshua Tree, California. Pieces include the A-Z Fiber Form Uniforms, A-Z Single Strand Shapes, A-Z Raugh Furniture, and a series of studies for billboards based on her ongoing collection of “these things I know for sure”.
Of particular interest to Zittel are the different ‘rules’ that each material imposes on the shape or form it ultimately takes on and what one might term the ‘technologies’ that must be invented in each case. A crochet work, for example, starts from a single point and grows with a continuous forward motion, amassing in even increments to define it own formal possibilities as well as the functional practicalities.
Zittel’s work is about the hand and making at the same time as being conceptual; theorizing and technical problem-solving assist one another and may ultimately become one and the same process. Interested in the ‘rules’ of material, for the purposes of experiment Zittel has also imposed rules on her day to day existence; wearing a uniform for months on end, exploring limitations of living space, living without measured time. Although at times tough, she has found the invention of one’s own rules to be an essentially liberating experience. Zittel’s work can be understood as a single, far-reaching enterprise of research or enquiry, under the identity of “A-Z”.
Andrea Zittel has shown through Europe and the US, including several museum solo shows in recent years; Andrea Zittel: Small Liberties, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2006) and Andrea Zittel: Critical Space, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2005), traveling to New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, AlbrightKnox Art Gallery, Buffalo (NY), Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada. In 1997 she was included in Skulptur Projekte in Muenster 1997, Landesmuseum Muenster, Germany and Documenta X (curated by Catherine David), Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany (cat.) and was in the Whitney Biennial in 1995 and 2004.