Middelheim Museum
Hortiflora and Braem Pavilion
Middelheimlaan 61
2020 Antwerp

Andrea Zittel
The Flat Field Works
13 June–27 September 2015

Middelheim Museum
Hortiflora and Braem Pavilion
Middelheimlaan 61
2020 Antwerp

T +32 (0)3 288 33 60
F +32 (0)3 288 33 99
[email protected]

From 13 June until 27 September, the Antwerp Middelheim Museum will be hosting the work of American artist Andrea Zittel (b.1965). Zittel’s artistic work traverses the boundaries between art and architecture, focusing on the fundamental questions of human nature by taking its subject matter directly from the act of day-to-day living. Her practice includes living units, furniture, clothing, utensils, and even food—all of which explore our most basic assumptions, ingrained into our daily habits, patterns, needs, and values.

Zittel will be creating an installation especially for the museum that will be displayed in the Hortiflora area, while a selection of the artist’s existing work will be featured in the Braem Pavilion. The Flat Field Works will be her first solo exhibition in Belgium.

New installation at Hortiflora
Zittel’s work often traverses the boundaries between art and architecture. In the Hortiflora area at the Middelheim Museum, Zittel’s newest work consists of an installation that examines the roles and potential of flat “panels” or “fields”—in reference to the horizontal and vertical panels that comprise the most basic elements of our domestic and urban environments.

Zittel believes that our surrounding realities are made up of panels that exist both as literal and in a psychological field of reality: “The Dynamic Essay about a Panel”—a visual presentation in exhibition pavilion the House—explains how we attribute meaning and use to these surfaces depending on their position or orientation in space. Panels can be rigid or flexible; they can provide shelter or divide rooms; and they can delineate certain areas.

Horizontal panels naturally function as platforms for actions and behaviour—these are the sites where life happens (floors, tables, benches, fields, streets). She terms these sites “energetic accumulators.” Vertical panels privilege the eye and are the carriers of messages and ideologies (walls, screens, paintings, billboards). Zittel calls these “ideological resonators.” Sometimes, panels traverse both dimensions and become three-dimensional (e.g., cloth draped over an object or on the body). She now more frequently exchanges the word panel with the terms “field” or “plane,” as these words suggest both physical and psychological dimensions.

Ultimately, however, Zittel’s interest lies less in the architecture or structures themselves than in how they are experienced both physically and psychologically. In a culture where we are increasingly being fed an endless stream of stimuli that we are never able to fully process or utilize, she hopes that these platforms, boundaries and divisions will create moments of pause—a heightened attention to the sometimes-fleeing nature of the realities that we construct around ourselves. Rather than being functional in a “literal” sense, these structures reflect on issues of space, context, and the physicality of how we experience things in the world. The artist quietly undermines our assumptions.

Works in the Braem Pavilion
The works installed in the Braem Pavilion represent a selection of pieces executed over the last several years. Similar to the Flat Field works, these also explore the format of a rectilinear “panel.” Handwoven textiles, carpets, steel, and sculptural works point to the distinctions that we make between art (a conceptual object) and design (a functional object); painting (two-dimensional) and sculpture (three-dimensional); and representation (illusion) and reality (the actual object). The artist’s aim is not to dismiss these various categories and value systems, but rather to expose them and understand the psychological reasons inherent to the need of people to confer personal and social relevance on objects.

About Andrea Zittel
Andrea Zittel lives and works in Joshua Tree, California. Zittel has had solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen; and the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, among others, and has been selected for Documenta X, Kassel, Germany.

Catalogue: Andrea Zittel: The Flat Field Works, Dutch/English, with an interview, “The Active Space: Julian Rose in dialogue with Andrea Zittel.”

Press details
For more information on this press release, please contact:
Rafaelle Lelievre, Press and Communications Middelheim Museum
M +32 497 44 73 20 / [email protected]

Middelheim Museum
The Middelheim Museum with its unique setting provides an exceptional experience of the union between art and nature. The open-air museum showcases modern and contemporary art within a gloriously green environment. Works by artists such as Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, Rik Wouters, Juan Muňoz, Panamarenko, Chris Burden, Dan Graham, Ai Weiwei and Roman Signer offer a fascinating insight into more than one hundred years of visual arts.

Each year, the museum invites renowned and promising new artists to showcase their work. Moving away from the archetypal ‘white cube’ of a museum, the artists interact with the endless possibilities offered by the park and with existing installations. This in turn stimulates the artists to produce new work and installations that are a natural fit for our Museum. The Middelheim Museum previously partnered with artists such as Berlinde De Bruyckere, Wim Delvoye, Yoshitomo Nara, Paul McCarthy, Chris Burden, John Körmeling, and Erwin Wurm.

Culture and recreation come together at the Middelheim Museum. Serving approximately 300,000 visitors each year, the freely accessible museum provides a low-threshold gateway to modern and contemporary visual arts, attracting young and old, nature lovers and experts.

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