Andrea Zittel: On the Grid: a look at settlement patterns in the high desert

11 March - 25 may 2017

Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, Palm Springs

 Coinciding with the inaugural presentation of Desert X, the international art biennial in the Coachella Valley, the museum presents On the Grid: a look at settlement patterns in the high desert, an exhibition focused around Lay of My Land, a major sculptural work by the Joshua Tree-based artist Andrea Zittel.

Much like a topographic site model, Lay of My Land represents thirty-five of the more than fifty acres that compose A-Z West, Zittel’s testing ground for living in the Mojave Desert. Zittel’s installation addresses the history of western expansion, which is also a history of land, landscape, and real estate. First divided by the Jeffersonian grid in 1785, the land in the high desert was further divided by the 1938 Small Tract, or “baby” homestead, Act that promised a five-acre parcel free to anyone who would erect a small structure. Lay of My Land not only features Zittel’s own structures that form the A-Z West project, it also includes some of the original homesteader cabins still on the property. Also included is one of Zittel’s billboard paintings and a Wall Sprawlfrom her wallpaper series. To complement Zittel’s installation, historical materials—including maps, photographs, accounts by early homesteaders, and sales brochures from original purveyors of homestead cabin models—are used to further tell the story of land settlement in the high desert. 


Andrea Zittel, Lay of My Land #1, 2011, steel, Hydrocal, burlap, sand, stone and latex paint. Image courtesy the artist and Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

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