Milan / June 01 —July 19, 2013


Massimo De Carlo is pleased to present How To Live? a solo exhibition by American artist Andrea Zittel. The exhibition will present five new works from Zittel's ongoing series, Prototypes for Billboards, and a video titled How To Live?: A dynamic essay about liberation and it's complexities.  

This new video portrays a settlement in the southern California desert, on a piece of land that no one seems to own. It is free to live on this land and there are no restrictions on what people can or cannot do there.  With this glimpse into one community's liberation from mass society, the video touches on the existential nature of freedom, as it's price, and meaning are called into question.  

In contrast to the outdoor settlement presented in the video, the painted billboard prototypes depict intimate and detailed interiors from the artist’s home, the ongoing site-specific project entitled A-Z West, also located in the southern California desert.  As the images of these domestic settings embody the same questions that emerge in the video work, we see the artist carry the weight of these questions into the everyday and every action.  

The overarching question of How To Live?  is lifted directly from the essays of Michel de Montaigne, who’s life’s writings comprise a massive volume of essays and anecdotes on all the nuances of day-to-day living. Zittel, like Montaigne, in a very personal and idiosyncratic manner, continues her life’s work of asking these questions, constantly rewriting them, and allowing them to evolve in accordance to time and place.  




Andrea Zittel was born in 1965 in Escondido California. She received a BFA in painting and sculpture from San Diego State University, and an MFA 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 New York was A-Z East, a small row house in Brooklyn which she turned into a showroom/testing grounds for her prototypes for living.  In 1999 she moved back to the West Coast, eventually settling in the High Desert region next to Joshua Tree National Park and founded A-Z West. Zittel is a co-organizer of the High Desert Test Sites project, which also operates out of Joshua Tree.  Her work has been included in group exhibitions  such as the Venice Biennale, Doccumenta X, Skulture project in Munster, and both the 1995 and the 2004 Whitney Biennials. She has had solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh; The Diechtorhallen in Hamburg; the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, NY; The Museum for Gegenwartskunst in Basel; The Louisiana Museum in Denmark; the Schaulager in Basel and Magasin 3 in Stockholm. Her 2005-2007 North American traveling survey show Critical Space traveled to The New Museum, New York; The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX; the Albright Knox Museum in Buffalo, NY; the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Vancouver Art Gallery.