The panel is interesting because it is sort of a plane liberated in space. A "super plane" that can transcend the limitations of two dimensional space without ever actually becoming three dimensional."
(excerpt from "Andrea Zittel, Gouaches and Illustrations", edited by Theodora Vischer for Schaulager)
Throughout the last twenty years of my practice I have been continually fascinated by various ways that we assign categories and definitions as a means to create order and meaning in a seemingly chaotic and often difficult to navigate world. For example, which subtle distinctions or social roles separate fine art, from the category that we designate as design? And what functions does this separation serve? Or on a more fundamental level, I wonder how we attribute definitions such as "table", "bench", or "counter" to various flat surfaces, or functions such as "living room" or "bed room" to various interior spaces. My intension is not to collapse these categories and value systems so much as it is to reveal their often overlooked significance and to understand our inherent psychological need to assign meaning in order to give these objects personal and social relevance.
In the early 1990s I began to explore elemental forms that could slip between functional categories and social roles depending on subtle contextual shifts or overlaying value systems. The flat plane or panel is a perfect example of this kind of amorphous form as it can become a painting when hung on a wall, a carpet when placed on the floor, a shelter when strung over a frame, a garment when placed over the human form, and so on.
For my show at Andrea Rosen Gallery I am continuing my investigation of focusing on the somewhat arbitrary - but wonderfully transcendent form of the "panel." A-Z Cover series, A-Z Personal Panels, AZ Purity Panels, and AZ Carpet Furniture, are based on this elemental panel form - all hover between manifestation and abstraction, painting and sculpture, decorative and functional object. My goal is to implode both the abstract and the literal potential of the panel, highlighting it's slippage between formal art object and useful possession. The exhibition will contain two series of AZ Covers, woven by a wonderful selection of weavers recruited from across the US; a series of smaller panels that can serve all functions from decorative, to wearable; a grouping of studies and a billboard painting that are also "Panels" themselves; and an AZ Carpet Furniture that is both representation and functional object in one.