Andrea Zittel: The Art of Geometry at Regen Projects
By Genie Davis
Through August 12th
It is hardly a surprise that Andrea Zittel, with her 6th solo show at Regen Projects, is based in Joshua Tree. Her wonderfully geometric exhibition has the feel and essence of the desert – of open space and somewhat mysterious structure. The seeming infinity of a desert skyline or the gallery’s space are both Zittel’s to fill.
There are two related yet separate bodies of work currently on display by Zittel, and they fully complement each other. Planar Configurations and Planar Pavilion both use geometric shapes and positioning to create a somewhat other-worldly viewing experience. “A plane is the two-dimensional analogue of a point, a line and three-dimensional space,” according to Wikipedia, and in this case, but Zittel combines those planes into a fully formed 3-D experience, bringing lines and space together.
In the main gallery at Regen Projects are different takes on Planar Configurations. Here, Zittel’s sculptures create a series of private rooms that evoke images of sleek office cubicles or futuristic workers’ quarters. The pieces repeat throughout the space in groupings, each individualized yet somehow connected to the others. A long view of the room provides an image that seems to repeat into infinity; up-close the works seem like intimate glances into private spaces. The metal sculptures, constructed of powder-coated steel and aluminum are black, white, and grey along with colored panels in a dark golden yellow, rich blue, and more muted red. They use the colors of the desert landscape Zittel calls home. Some of the pieces have a cushion or blanket which is woven by Zittel. Viewers are allowed not only to touch the sculptures, but to sit on them. Doing so, the viewer feels involved in the exhibition, a part of it, surrounded and cocooned in it and each individual mini-world.
On the gallery walls, Zittel’s studies for the planar panels are hung. Watercolor and gouache on paper, these works can be viewed as aesthetically fascinating abstract images as well as the architectural layout for the sculptural pieces.
If the sculptures are the finished models for a potential, community-connected lifestyle, unfinished, externally placed versions of what such a community might look like before the colorful panels and cushions are added are on display in the desert east of Los Angeles.
The Planar Pavilions at A-Z West, is the artist’s Mojave Desert-based project. Located in the Joshua Tree area, Zittel has a variety of works and projects in process in the desert, including the artist’s own home, as well as installations such as a Wagon Station Encampment, a shipping container compound, a weaving studio, and the ten, black cement-block structures spread across an 11-acre parcel of land that comprise Planar Pavillions. The works are stark and monolithic, yet because of their placement in the desert scene, they blend with the landscape around them, taking on an oddly seamless pattern. Echoing the sculptures on exhibit at Regen Project, these open-air pieces are made up of only vertical walls; however, visitors are allowed to make use of them.
Zittel’s work at Regen Projects runs through August 12th; the large-scale installations in Joshua Tree are permanent.
Regen Projects is located at 6750 Santa Monica Blvd. in mid-town Los Angeles.