Zittel lives and works in the Mojave Desert, where she is engaged with questions of lifestyle, nomadism, and productivity. In addition to drawing she makes furniture, clothes, and "station wagons" that refer to and question traditions of homesteading. This series of gouaches documents her experiments in transforming household waste into decorative wall panels, and they illustrate the artist's relationship with nature. Zittel presents herself as an efficient worker who labors from dusk until dawn, adapting her existence to the structures and colors of the surrounding landscape.
Gallery label from Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, April 22, 2009–January 4, 2010.
Zittel fabricates objects that propose an idealized way of living, incorporating the everyday needs of basic human existence into compact, easily movable spaces. Her gouaches of these objects are graphically striking, with their clean lines and vibrant colors reminiscent of the acidic hues of midcentury California modernism. The work in pencil is a compendium of drawings of six flat, functional objects, some found (an embroidered doily, a hot pad, a stack of paper), others made by the artist (the sheaths of a uniform or dress, a carpet, a cover or blanket).
Gallery label from Contemporary Galleries: 1980-Now, November 17, 2011-February 17, 2014.