Lucelia Artist Award
Andrea Zittel is the fifth winner of the museum's annual Lucelia Artist Award. Since the early 1990s, Zittel has been developing her designs for living. She formed a corporate entity A-Z Administrative Services in 1992 to facilitate the production of her furniture and her cellular and housing unit designs. In 1994, she opened A-Z East in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, N.Y., as a place where her A-Z Enterprise designs could be tested and evolve.
"I have been using the arena of my life and day-to-day activities as a site for exploration and experimentation," said Zittel. "By using myself as a guinea pig I often use my own experiences to try to construct an understanding of the world at large. I use my work in order to try to comprehend values such as 'freedom,' 'security,' 'authority' and 'expertise.' I am interested in how qualities which we feel are totally concrete and rational are really subjective, arbitrary or invented. Since I think that 'Art' is often seen as an area of expertise, a field requiring a vast body of knowledge in order to understand, I hope that my work ultimately bridges the most basic human concerns with those of contemporary artistic concerns."
Zittel was born in Escondido, Calif., in 1965. In 1988, she received a bachelor of fine arts degree from San Diego State University, and went on to earn a master of fine arts degree in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1990.
Zittel's sculptures and installations have been shown widely in the United States and Europe, particularly in Germany and the United Kingdom. In 1999, she had two large scale works on view: "A-Z Pocket Property," a 54-ton floating concrete island anchored off the coast of Denmark that was commissioned by the Danish government and "A-Z Point of Interest," two large artificial rock formations located at a busy entrance to Central Park that was commissioned by the Public Art Fund.
In 2000, she moved most of her experiments in designs for living to A-Z Enterprise West in Joshua Tree, Calif. Zittel also co-organizes "High Desert Test Sites," an ongoing project that provides free space for artists interested in creating long-term or experimental projects in the desert. Zittel's work was included in the 2004 "Biennial Exhibition" at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. A major touring exhibition of her work, titled "Andrea Zittel: Critical Space," opens at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in October 2005. Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York City and Regen Projects in Los Angeles represent Zittel.
Andrea Zittel's Web site is www.zittel.org.
Richard Artschwager, artist
Klaus Biesenbach, chief curator, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and curator, department of film and video, Museum of Modern Art
Ann Goldstein, senior curator, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Paul Ha, director, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Katy Siegel, author, critic and assistant professor of contemporary art history and criticism at Hunter College, CUNY
Pictured: Andrea Zittel, A-Z Management and Maintenance Unit Model 003, 1992, Steel, wood, carpet, plastic sink, stove top, mirror, 86 x 94 x 68 inches, ©Andrea Zittel, Image courtesy of the Andrea Rosen Gallery, NY