Andrea Zittel Exhibition at Andrea Rosen Gallery. September 14 – October 27, 2012
Andrea Zittel’s tenth solo exhibition at Andrea Rosen Gallery is a crystalizing moment for the artist’s work, and we are delighted that it is the first show to be mounted in our newly expanded main space. On the heels of an important solo exhibition at Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Zittel’s work currently has a major presence at the Museum of Modern Art, in a room dedicated to the artist in the Contemporary Galleries on the second floor, as well as a commission by the Museum in the window of its 53rd Street entrance. As acknowledgement of her achievements and broad influence, it was recently announced that Zittel is the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Austrian Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Prize for Art and Architecture. While Zittel has received substantial attention as an artist for 20 years, there exists now clear recognition both publicly and privately of her unique significance and groundwork. With this new installation at our gallery the artist has created a transcendent body of work that is both quintessentially “Zittel” and also a complete evolution, revealing the complexity and subversive relationship between our attachment to both the functional object and the art object.
Zittel’s work highlights the complicated idea that we need to find meaning and structure in our lives; our desire to imbue use objects with intentionality; and the cyclical nature of our particular ideologies or utopias. One might easily live in a Rococo house and feel meaning and attachment to the colors and motifs, which could then just as thoroughly be rejected later in favor of the austerity of a Modernist aesthetic.
Zittel is known for confronting ideas, not just in theory but in practice, through all the structures of her own life – by both creating an authentic relationship to how we create meaning through constructs for living, but also by providing a long-term practice for questioning our search for utopian ideals. Zittel once said, people won’t understand my work fully for at least ten years until they see the cycles of the shifts of my practice – how one utopia becomes equivalent to another.
In this exhibition Zittel has removed the reference to herself; a shifting affords an unveiling of the long-term intention of her work. Instead of being fascinated by Zittel’s personal story, we see our own shifting relationship between the use object and the art object; our unique need and obsession around each; our relationship to genuinely significant value structures and the shift and slippage when use objects become art objects.
In what appears to be a passive, corporate Power Point presentation Zittel exposes mind-shifting ideas in which she speaks about how we psychologically ascribe entire concepts and meaning to a flat plane depending on its position. She refers to a plane that is flat or might otherwise be called a table as an “energetic accumulator.” A plane that is horizontal or otherwise a painting is referred to as an “ideological resonator.” These ideas unfold throughout the show. For example, a weaving depends on its placement and level of use, and altering, which not only forces an unconscious shift in perspective but also directly addresses value.
A weaving with a slit, in this case could be referred to as a poncho, where as in a more basic variant, a weaving without a slit somehow triggers a different sense of value both physically and monetarily. Detailed gouaches and large billboard paintings add another layer of discussion surrounding our relationship to abstract painting versus conceptual object. This refers to a long history of the transformation of an object to art – the way for instance a Navajo rug is a cultural artifact loved for its otherness, and then once it accumulates status, is removed from the floor and hung to become the equivalent of a painting. We think of things of value as placed on the wall.
This show is full of opportunities to question methods and perceptions yet still through the filter of aesthetic awe.
In the following artist statement, Zittel speaks didactically about use, placing the responsibility of experiencing the work and decoding its questions in the hands of the audience.
Andrea Zittel lives and works in Joshua Tree, CA. Her work can be found in notable private foundations and public institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockhom; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Modern, London; among many others. Recently, Zittel has had significant museum surveys at Magasin 3, Stockholm in 2012 and Schaulager, Basel in 2009, which followed an extensive touring exhibition “Critical Space,” 2006 -2007 which traveled to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; New Museum, New York;
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Vancouver Art Gallery.
Andrea Rosen Gallery: http://www.andrearosengallery.com
Andrea Zittel: http://www.zittel.org
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Andrea Rosen Gallery: 525 West 24th Street, New York, NY.