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Andrea Zittel: Critical Space

Friday, October 6, 2006–Sunday, January 7, 2007

Andrea Zittel (American, born 1965). A-Z Management and Maintenance Unit, Model 003, 1992. Steel, wood, carpet, plastic sink, glass mirror, stovetop, and household objects, 86 x 94 x 68" (218.4 x 238.8 x 172.7 cm.). Collection Andrea Rosen, New York. Courtesy Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.

This exhibition is co-organized by the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. The exhibition is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency; the patrons, benefactors, and donors to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston’s Major Exhibition Fund; and the Peter Norton Family Foundation. The accompanying catalogue has been made possible by a grant from The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, with additional support from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation. The presentation of the exhibition in Buffalo is made possible by Judge and Mrs. John T. Elfvin, with additional funding from Sotheby’s, Cannon Design, and New Era Cap Company.

Andrea Zittel is one of the most exciting and influential artists of our time because she makes art about the questions that nag us everyday: what to wear in the morning, what to fix again for dinner, how to deal with all the clutter, and how to escape the tyranny of the clock. Part philosopher, part scientist, part designer, part artist, Zittel has made her own life an experiment about the best way to live.

Zittel lives deliberately by paring down her life to the essential elements. She designs clothes to be worn everyday for six months, devises diets of dehydrated food, and constructs multi-purpose furniture to meet her needs in an extremely limited space, all as a means of addressing the larger concerns of the human condition. A conceptual artist, Zittel has been influenced by a diverse list of artists, including Jenny Holzer, Dan Graham, Donald Judd, and Joseph Beuys, and by the constructivist and Bauhaus movement. Her work has, in turn, set an example for a younger generation of artists who make up their own rules and use their own lives as the basis for the production of their work.

Andrea Zittel: Critical Space is a mid-career survey, which gathers together more than seventy-five of Zittel’s works – habitats, installations, drawings, and documentation – created between 1991 and 2005. The Gallery celebrates its commitment to contemporary art in all of its manifestations by presenting the work of this important conceptual artist in a way that encourages audience participation.

Claire Schneider
Associate Curator of Contemporary Art