Since the early 1990s, Andrea Zittel has used the arena of her day-to-day life to develop and test prototypes for living structures and situations. Using herself as a guinea pig, she constructs an understanding of the world at large using these isolated experiences. The experiments have at times been extreme—such as wearing a uniform for months on end, exploring limitations of living space, and living without measured time—however, one of the most important goals of this work is to illuminate how we attribute significance to chosen structures or ways of life and how arbitrary any choice of structure can be. Not intended to deny the personal significance of these decisions, instead, Zittel uses her work to try to comprehend broad values such as “freedom,” “security,” “authorship,” and “expertise.” Zittel is interested in how qualities, which we tend to feel are concrete and rational, are often subjective, arbitrary or invented.
Her work has been included in major group exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale, Documenta, Skulptur Projekte Münster, and the Whitney Biennial. She has had solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria in New York, the Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Basel and the Louisiana Museum in Denmark. Her survey exhibition "Critical Space" traveled to the New Museum in New York, the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, the Albright Knox Museum in Buffalo, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. She has also had recent exhibitions at the Schaulager in Basel and Magasin 3 in Stockholm.
Andrea Zittel is represented by Regen Projects in Los Angeles, Sadie Coles HQ in London, Massimo DeCarlo in Milan and Spruth-Magers in Berlin.