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Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts 2012 goes to the American artist Andrea Zittel
Dining room with prototypes for Aggregated Stacks and A-Z Tiles at A-Z West, 2011, Photo: Giovanni Jance, Courtesy Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York ©Andrea Zittel.
VIENNA.- The international jury of the Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts 2012 pays tribute to Andrea Zittel as a “leading artist at mid-career, who is both influential and somewhat under-recognized. Based in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, California, Zittel takes an expansive approach to art and space making, creating social sculptures that traverse boundaries between art, architecture, design and technology. […] The jury selected her primarily for her experimental and innovative work that has extended the dialogue of contemporary art and ideas. In the spirit of Frederick Kiesler, her work is both intellectual and yet deals with real life situations and occurrences. Zittel's sculptures and spatial installations transform everything necessary for life - such as eating, sleeping, bathing, and socializing - into artful experiments and scenarios for new ways of living.” (Decision of the Jury, extract)

The award, with a substantial prize-money of 55,000 euros, is presented alternately by the Republic of Austria and the City of Vienna every two years “for outstanding achievements in the field of architecture and the arts that conform to Frederick Kiesler’s experimental, innovative conceptions and his theory of correlated arts” (Statutes of the Kiesler Prize).

This year’s Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and Art is being awarded by Vienna City Councillor for Cultural Affairs Andreas Mailath-Pokorny: “Andrea Zittel is a superb choice, and I am greatly pleased by the jury’s decision. Andrea Zittel’s artistic work is devoted above all to analysing and shaping our immediate environment. She designs clearly defined dwelling units intended to cater for human needs and the everyday requirements of our lives. By optimising prevailing living standards, she also accommodates the intention of the Viennese authorities to continue to refine social housing, architecture and design.”

Andrea Zittel was born in 1965 in Escondido, California.

She received a BFA in Painting and Sculpture (1988) from San Diego State University, and an MFA in Sculpture (1990) 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 which she turned into a showroom testing grounds for her prototypes for living. In 2000, she moved back to the West Coast, eventually settling in the High Desert region next to Joshua Tree National Park where she has now founded “A-Z West”. Andrea has also organized the smock-shop, "an artist run enterprise that generates income for artists whose work is either non-commercial, or not yet self-sustaining" by selling smocks, and High Desert Test Sites, "a series of experimental art sites", which "provide alternative space for experimental works by both emerging and established artists."

Andrea Zittel´s work has also been included in group exhibitions such as the Venice Biennial; Documenta X and Sculpture Projects Muenster; 1995 and 2004 at the Whitney Biennial. Solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh; Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, New York; Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel; Louisiana Museum, Denmark; Costume Gallery, Palazzo Pitti, Florence and at Sprueth Magers, Berlin, 2011. A two-person show at the Schaulager in Basel; 2005 – 2007 survey show "Critical Space" at Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston traveled to New Museum, New York; Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Vancouver Art Gallery, British Columbia.






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