Oral history interview with Andrea Zittel
Portions of this collection are digitized

Collection ID:
Zittel, Andrea, 1965-
Drohojowska-Philp, Hunter
2018 January 8-9
Physical Description:
21 Items
sound files (5 hr., 24 min.) Audio
digital, wav
126 Pages

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview with Andrea Zittel conducted 2018 January 8 and 9, by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, for the Archives of American Art, at the artist's studio in Joshua Tree, California.
Scope and Contents
Zittel discusses life as an artist and designer at her studio and production company A-Z West in Joshua Tree; growing up in Escondido, California and visiting her grandparents' ranch in El Centro, California as a child and the attraction she felt to the desert; her year in Germany as a schoolchild; her rebellious years as a teenager; her undergraduate work at San Diego State University, her studies of photography and art there and the influence of the photographer Walter Cotten; her subsequent graduate work at the Rhode Island School of Design; her work on the staff at Pat Hearn Gallery; her purchase of a building in Brooklyn and the establishment of A-Z East; her work with breeding animals and insects in her apartment and her living spaces and the first Breeding Unit; the creation of her first self-contained Living Unit; her work with custom-designed uniforms meant for long-term wear; and her early success with significant mid-'90s shows at galleries and museums in the United States and Europe.
Zittel also describes her relocation from New York to Joshua Tree in the Mojave Desert; her relationship with the artist Allan McCollum; her expanding series of sculptural furniture and living pieces including Fleds, Ottoman Furniture, Travel Trailers and the Management and Maintenance Unit; life in the Mojave Desert and the historical impact of the post-war Homestead Act on her part of San Bernardino County; her son Emmett and his father David Dodge; her partner, the musician Katy Davidson; the integration of textiles and handcraft in her work; her work with the arts organization High Desert Test Sites; her clothing production effort Smockshop; and her thoughts about having A-Z West be self-sustaining and creating a legacy.
Zittel also recalls Gillian Theobald; Janet Cooling; Rob Storr; Peter Watson; Andrea Rosen; Dan Wineman; Rainer Ganahl; Craig Kalpakjian; Mike Ballou as well as Klaus Biesenbach; Sebastian Clough; Shaun Regen; Kip Fjeld; Judith Solodkyne; and Brooke Hodge, among others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Andrea Zittel (1965- ) is a multimedia artist based in Joshua Tree, California and New York, New York. Hunter Drohojowska-Philp is a writer in Los Angeles, California.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The transcript and audio recording are open for research. Contact Reference Services for more information.
System Details
Recorded on DR-100MKII R00328.

More Information

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Multimedia (Art) Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists -- California Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001