Born in New York in 1943, Gordon Matta-Clark is widely considered one of the most influential artists working in the 1970s. He was a key contributor to the activity and growth of the New York art world in SoHo from the late 1960s until his untimely death in 1978. His practice introduced new and radical modes of physically exploring and subverting urban architecture, and some of his most well-known projects involved laboriously cutting holes into floors of abandoned buildings or, as with Splitting (1974), slicing a suburban villa in two.
Since 1998, the Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark has been represented by David Zwirner. Previous solo exhibitions at the gallery in New York include Gordon Matta-Clark (1999), A W-Hole House and Selected Drawings (2002), Bingo (2004), Gordon Matta-Clark and Rirkrit Tiravanija (2007), and Above and Below (2013). In 2011, 112 Greene Street: The Early Years (1970–1974) was presented at David Zwirner, New York, which united a group of works by Matta-Clark and others shown at 112 Greene Street in SoHo, one of New York's first alternative, artist-run venues. Organized by Jessamyn Fiore, an independent curator, writer, and co-director of the Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark with her mother Jane Crawford, the exhibition led to the critically acclaimed, eponymous catalogue, published by David Zwirner and Radius Books in 2012. On view September 9 through October 24, 2015, Energy & Abstraction marked the artist's sixth solo show with the gallery at its West 20th Street location in New York.
In 1985, the first museum retrospective of Matta-Clark's work was presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and traveled until 1989 to over a dozen institutions worldwide, including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Kunsthalle Basel; Le Nouveau Musée, Villeurbanne, France; Brooklyn Museum; and the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal. In 1997, the Generali Foundation, Vienna prepared the first comprehensive overview dedicated to the artist's drawing practice, consisting of over six hundred works on paper. It toured through 2000 to the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona; Institute for Art and Urban Resources at P.S.1, Long Island City, New York; and the Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster, Germany.
In 2007, Gordon Matta-Clark: You Are the Measure was the first full-scale retrospective organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, which subsequently traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. From 2009 to 2010, Gordon Matta-Clark: Undoing Spaces—the first major survey of his work in South America—toured to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago; Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo; Paco Imperial, Rio de Janeiro; and Museo de Arte de Lima.
Matta-Clark's work is represented in prominent public collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Antwerp; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. The Gordon Matta-Clark Archive is held at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, and includes the artist's personal correspondence, notebooks, drawings, photographs, slides, films, as well as other archival material documenting his life and work.