Critics’ Picks

View of “Physical Matter Reality,” 2014.

View of “Physical Matter Reality,” 2014.


Andrea Zittel

Sadie Coles HQ | Kingly Street
62 Kingly Street
March 25–May 31, 2014

Andrea Zittel’s current solo show, “Physical Matter Reality,” features three new series of works. The artist’s geometric weavings, “Parallel Planar Panel,” 2014, dangle as curtain-like wall reliefs; her metal “Hard Carpets,” also 2014, resemble Carl Andre’s slender floor works, such as Weathering Piece, 1970; while Zittel’s series titled “Bench (after Judd),” 2014, comprises tables that are low to the ground, resembling earth-skimming spaceships. Following the women of the Bauhaus weaving workshop—Anni Albers and Benita Koch-Otte—Zittel rejects curvilinear forms. Warp and weft (the very grammar of weaving) is Zittel’s theater. Her now-signature palette evokes autumnal hues: dirty oranges, mustard yellows, and moody grays all mix with hearty reds and pickle greens.

What matters in the series “Parallel Planar Panel” is how Zittel works over the logic of the grid. For her, form is still ruled by the right angle. Zittel tests the limits of this schema through the intricate patterning of weaving. Curiously, however, her grids mimic the pixilated ones of Photoshop. In some instances, her carpets look like blown-up bitmaps of color. Weaving through the pixel, Zittel emphasizes the commodious folds of yarn. The subtle entanglement of Zittel’s surfaces is generous: The minute gradation of weaving invites the spectator to skim over the carpet’s ornate surface.

In a PowerPoint presentation, Dynamic Essay About the Panel 2.0, 2014, Zittel refers to two kinds of panels (horizontal and vertical). For the artist, horizontal panels, such as tables, function as “energetic accumulators,”—as supports for objects, people, and experiences. Displayed vertically, they “privilege the eye.” Throughout the show, Zittel’s panels resist the banality of ornamentation. If you look close enough, it’s easy to see Zittel’s entanglement of life with work—even hair and other specks of life are caught on her work’s woven surfaces. Hung, slung, or abandoned, Zittel’s new pieces stage the encounter where life entwines with dust.