Andrea Zittel is an American sculptor and installation artist. She studied painting and sculpture at San Diego State University in San Diego, CA, graduating in 1988. She received her MFA in sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1990. In 1992 she set up A–Z Administrative Services, a company which aimed to streamline domestic objects and rituals.
Zittel explores ideals of functional living by making self-contained units for dining, study and recreation. In 1993 she began to customize the units according to the client for whom they were designed, such as the A–Z Comfort Units Customised for the Cincinnati Art Museum (1994; Cincinnati, OH, A. Mus.), in which each unit housed items from the museum’s collections. In the mid-1990s she made a series of customized trailers as complete living environments that attempted to create a completely functional, yet individualized domestic space: see, for example, Travel Trailer Unit (1995; San Francisco, CA, MOMA).
Zittel’s work draws on Modernist concepts of design and architecture reminiscent of those promoted by the Bauhaus School of Design. Her use of a commercial style in the promotional literature for her ‘products’, and of A–Z Administrative Services as the front for her practice, situates her art within the convenience culture of American society. Recently Zittel’s institute, known as A-Z Enterprise, has been acting as host to The High Desert Test Sites, a series of experimental art sites located along a stretch of desert communities in Southern California, which will provide alternative space for experimental works by both emerging and established artists in connection with the California Biennial in November, 2008.
Portland State University’s Art Department offers free public lectures every Monday night of the school year. This is the first lecture of the fourth year of the PMMNLS. The PSU MFA Monday Night Lecture Series is supported in part by PICA, Reed College, Lewis and Clark College, and The NW Film Center.