Andrea Zittel's first exhibition at the New Art Centre comprises a body of recent work encompassing sculpture, painting and textile. Her combination of art, craft, design and architecture references a series of historical precedents and movements from Bauhaus to Minimalism, and explores the boundaries between art and function. The starting point, however, is always Zittel's own life - her immediate surroundings and her daily routines - for objects which relate to shelter, furniture, and clothing "in an ongoing endeavour to better understand human nature and the social construction of need." Zittel's woven, painted or sculptural surfaces therefore evoke different types of physical field and the sites of wider human experience.
Through her combined interest in 'art' and 'life', Andrea Zittel's works reflect a desire for beautifully designed objects - for good craft and artisanship - with which we can engage on a day-to-day basis, and, on the other hand, for objects which are also charged with the authority of art history and ideology. For example, her series entitled Bench (After Judd), pays tribute to Donald Judd's own Bench series, structures which Zittel finds fascinating for their ability to conflate art with furniture and function - the result is at once a sculpture which invites use as a seat come table and raised platform. Her Hard Carpet series meanwhile combines sheet metal and textiles which nod to the floor sculptures of Carl Andre, works which similarly collapse the idea of passive viewing and active experience on the part of the audience. Whilst the Planar Pavilion - a free-standing architectural structure composed of rectangular planes of colour and texture - echoes both Constructivist sculpture and - in its juxtaposition of metal and wood - the sleek and simple finishes of post-war interior design. Made in the relative isolation of the desert, the planes and colours of Zittel's work will form a dynamic contrast with the rolling countryside of Roche Court.
Andrea Zittel (b. 1964) has exhibited extensively. Recent solo shows include: On the Grid, Palm Springs Art Museum, Architecture and Design Center; The Flat Field Works, Middelheim Museum, Antwerp; Eye on Design: Andrea Zittel's Aggregated Stacks and the Collection of the Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs Art Museum; Lay of my Land, BALTIC, Gateshead, and at the Stockholm Konsthall; Andrea Zittel: Between Art and Life, Palazzo Pitti, Florence; Production Site: The Artist's Studio Inside-Out, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Schaulager Basel; Small Liberties at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Andrea Zittel showed at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham in 2001 and was included in the Whitney Biennial in 2004 and 1995.