Carnegie Mellon University

CMU's Miller ICA Hosts "Andrea Zittel: An Institute of Investigative Living" Jan 25–Mar 8, 2020

Margaret Cox
Pam Wigley

Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Institute for Contemporary Art is pleased to present “Andrea Zittel: An Institute of Investigative Living,” an exhibition curated by Elizabeth Chodos, Director of Miller ICA, CMU. This solo exhibition combines newly commissioned and existing works by artist Andrea Zittel and explores the core questions central to Zittel’s practice of “How to live?” and “What gives life meaning?”

The exhibition will be on display Saturday, Jan. 25 through Sunday, Mar. 8, 2020. Friday, Jan. 24 there will be a reception from 6 – 8 p.m. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

“Andrea Zittel’s work rests at the intersection of art, architecture and design. A world-builder, Zittel’s practice manifests within her live/work residence A-Z West, an artwork and homestead located on over seventy acres in the California high desert next to Joshua Tree National Park. Since its inception A-Z West has functioned as an evolving testing grounds for living — a place in which spaces, objects and acts of living all intertwine into a single ongoing investigation into what it means to exist and participate in our culture today,” says curator Elizabeth Chodos. Chodos goes on to explain that “Zittel’s personal life and artistic practice has entailed exploring complex relationships between our need for freedom, security, autonomy, authority and control — observing how structure and limitations often have the capacity to generate feelings of freedom beyond open-ended choices. The exhibition demonstrates the immersive gestalt of Zittel’s all-encompassing practice where every material aspect of daily life is examined and where her ethos for living guides all action. 

This exhibition surveys work spanning many years, and a wide range of media including furniture, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, painting and two newly commissioned room-sized patterned tile-floors.

To learn more, visit the Miller ICA's website or view the Facebook event.

About the Artist

Andrea Zittel was born in 1965 in Escondido, California. She received her BFA in painting and sculpture (1988) from San Diego State University and MFA (1990) in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design. In the early 1990s, she first established her practice in New York. One of her most visible projects in NY was A-Z East, a small row house in Brooklyn turned into a showroom or testing grounds for her prototypes for living. In 1998, she moved back to the west coast, eventually settling in the High Desert region next to Joshua Tree National Park where she founded A-Z West in 2000. A-Z West is the current site of her studio practice, as well as other living experiments including the Wagon Station Encampment and the Institute of Investigative Living. In 2002, Zittel cofounded High Desert Test Sites, a series of experimental art sites in the High Desert that supports works by both emerging and established artists.

About Miller ICA

The Miller Institute for Contemporary Art provides transformative experiences with contemporary art through exhibitions, conversation and exchange in a free and open public space. The Miller ICA is the contemporary art institute of Carnegie Mellon University and is a unit of the College of Fine Arts. It is located in the Purnell Center for the Arts on Carnegie Mellon’s campus in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Miller ICA is open to the public from 12 – 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free.

About Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 13,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation.