Gordon Matta-Clark

  • View large image Untitled, 1976-77

    Gordon Matta-Clark, Untitled, 1976-77 Sculpture stack of cut paper, pencil, 58 x 75 cm 2013 Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark

Gordon Matta-Clark (b. 1943, NY, d. 1978, NY) was the son of the Chilean surrealist painter Roberto Matta and his American partner, Anne Clark. He lived and worked in New York. Matta-Clark studied architecture at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and French literature at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. Because of his radical, socially critical and innovative work, Matta-Clark still ranks among the most significant personalities of a New York art scene of the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was at around this time that Matta-Clark began a series of works which were displayed both in the public arena and at alternative galleries such as "98" and "112 Greene Street.'' The interaction of the human body with and within nature and architecture is a pivotal point around which his works orbited - starting with "Rope Bridge" (1969) through his numerous drawings of trees, arrows and pictograms, his forceful alterations of buildings, and his performances and on to his drafts for "Ballongebäude" (1978). Matta-Clark is best known for his so-called "Building Cuts" (1972-78) wherein he sliced through all layers of materials and removed entire chunks of abandoned buildings. The work process itself- the sudden penetration of light, vistas opening up, and the public’s perambulations in the transformed building, along with the potential hazards involved- was integral to these works. Since none of the works could be preserved, Matta-Clark’s films offer the best access to an appreciation of this group of works. Matta-Clark also used film in a reflective and analytical manner, e. g., as an instrument of supervision in "Chinatown Voyeur" (1971) or in researching the underground of cities, such as in "Substrait" (1976) and "Sous-sols de Paris" (1977). The Generali Foundation organized a major retrospective in 1999, where Matta-Clark’s conceptual approach was presented in greater detail and also, for the first time, his graphic work was shown. The Generali Foundation has acquired - along with other central works - all of Gordon Matta-Clark’s films and videos and has contributed in conjunction with other renowned international institutions to the restoration of these important works. http://foundation.generali.at/en/collection.html#artist=162

Last updated: 23.09.2014

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