Andrea Zittel

  • Andrea Zittel’s A-Z West, Joshua Tree, CA, April 2020. Photo: Andrea Zittel.


    ON MARCH 1, my partner, Katy, and I started gradually stocking up on food. Over the past two decades of living in the desert, I’ve developed a pretty deep prepper mentality. I have four thousand gallons of water on the property and enough food to last forty days. I only keep as many pets as I can fit in my truck if we need to evacuate on short notice (three dogs, two cats, a bunch of chickens and pigeons, three rescue tortoises). I have a camp kit in two black plastic milk crates all packed and ready to go. I’d always had a kit around for dry camping, but during the Fukushima nuclear-plant



    IN 1980 I WANTED a closer relationship to the sun, and to get that I decided to make a gold field. I found an engineer at Engelhard Precious Metals in Massachusetts who helped me figure out how to produce a gold mat of four by five feet. It needed to be as thin as possible. It needed to hold together as an object, and it needed to be one hundred percent pure gold. This meant no glue. We came up with a thickness of six ten-thousandths of an inch, which is considerably thinner than a human hair. I was happy about this because it made the object pretty much all surface. We figured out that


    To take stock of the past year, Artforum contacted an international group of artists to find out which exhibitions were, in their eyes, the very best of 2006.


    “Edvard Munch: The Modern Life of the Soul” (Museum of Modern Art, New York) In a rather cynical mode, I trudged uptown one day last spring to see the Munch show at MoMA for what I thought would be a cliché-ridden overview of Nordic gloom-goth. What I got instead was a hard punch to the gut: powerful color, radical ideas about the depiction of memory as space, paintings with emotional vanishing points rather than rational optical

  • A Text About High Desert Test Sites


    *Text by Lisa Anne Auerbach is in italics.


    The best and worst part of High Desert Test Sites is getting lost in the desert. We make a map, but it’s usually inaccurate. The desert is big, a magnitude larger than the city, and we can never fit its immensity on a sheet of paper without the details getting too tiny. So in addition to being inaccurate, the maps are also completely out of proportion, which makes some visitors tense. Seeing the sites isn’t like gallery hopping in Los Angeles. LA is notoriously spread out, but it’s nothing compared to the desert.

  • Remote Possibilities: A Roundtable Discussion on Land Art’s Changing Terrain

    TIM GRIFFIN A number of artists have recently executed high-profile projects in remote places—“remote,” at least, from traditional art-world centers. In fact, we can count three individuals participating today among them: Pierre and his recent voyage to Antarctica, Rirkrit and the Land in Thailand, and Andrea with her High Desert Test Sites near Joshua Tree. Realizing, of course, that there are significant differences among these projects—and I hope we’ll shed good light on a few of these—working in a “remote” location seems to be a broader trend (think also of projects by Carsten Höller, Tacita


    GOOD ART MAKES THE WHOLE WORLD, and everything in it, into art. When you leave a gallery and can’t tell whether the piles of traffic cones outside are a streetwork or not, then the show inside must have been a “good” one. However, this porosity of art boundaries can be a problem, especially for the artists. They’re urged by everyday proximity to and belief in art (at least in their own art) to artify everything within their ken. Think of thousands of Blanche Duboises encircled by a galaxy of bare bulbs. So a few have decided to make the most of this involuntary tendency and work the space around

  • Ottoman Empire

    CRITICS IN THESE VERY PAGES have bemoaned that furnishings made by artists—Judd and Flavin were mentioned, Scott Burton could have been—are being carted out of their art stores and into other salesrooms of fashion. But that’s the problem with a chair in a gallery: someone will always sit in it. Andrea Zittel may have started to construct furniture out of youthful “necessity,” feeling her jigsaw oats, but soon she understood home furnishing as an art medium, like acrylic. She made her beds, so why shouldn’t she lie in them?

    If galleries are salesrooms, studios can be showrooms, and Zittel has


    Last fall Andrea Zittel arrived in Berlin on a grant with the idea that she would design her own living space. Inhabiting an apartment in Berlin for a year would be like starting from scratch. The house in Brooklyn she was temporarily leaving behind was populated by A-Z Prototypes—various modular “Living Units” and “Comfort Units” designed to minimize demands placed on the body—that form the core of her artistic production.

    However clunky the term, “artistic production” accurately describes Zittel’s working method. Since 1992 she has manufactured domestic prototypes bearing the logo “A-Z