Gordon Matta-Clark - Artworks & Biography | David Zwirner

Gordon Matta-Clark

February 22–June 8, 2019

Gordon Matta-Clark: Anarchitect traveled to Kumu Art Museum in Tallinn following presentations at Jeu de Paume in Paris and The Bronx Museum of the Arts, where its debut showing in 2017 drew critical acclaim.

Featuring more than one hundred works as well as film projections and rarely seen materials from the artist’s archive, this major survey has been organized by Antonio Sergio Bessa at The Bronx Museum with Jessamyn Fiore, co-director of the Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark. In her review of Anarchitect for The New York Times, Roberta Smith praised this "beautifully staged, streamlined version of the artist’s career [that] still conveys a full picture of his radical sensibility." An accompanying catalogue includes texts by the exhibition’s curators that contextualize Matta-Clark’s practice within the framework of architectural and urban history. Anarchitect will travel to the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts later in 2019.

Matta-Clark is considered one of the most influential postwar artists. His radical methods of subverting architecture and the urban landscape began with a series of "cuts" he produced in the Bronx borough in New York in the early 1970s. Some of his best-known projects involved laboriously cutting holes in the floors or walls of abandoned or soon-to-be-demolished buildings or, as with Splitting (1974), slicing a house in two. As Martin Filler writes in The New York Review of Books Daily, "Matta-Clark’s audacious hybridization and redefinition of three mediums—architecture, sculpture, and painting—opened new modes of contemporary expression."

On view at David Zwirner in London through December 20, 2018, Gordon Matta-Clark: Works 1970–1978 included key examples from the artist’s short but prolific career, including films, photographs, sculptures, and works on paper that illustrate his complex engagement with architecture and the many ways in which he reconfigured the spaces and materials of everyday life.

Image: Gordon Matta-Clark, Day’s End, 1975. © The Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark. Courtesy The Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark.

June 19–September 17, 2018

In Tokyo, the first full-scale retrospective of Matta-Clark’s work in Asia was on view at The National Museum of Modern Art from June 19–September 17, 2018. Gordon Matta-Clark: Mutation in Space encompassed some two hundred works including sculptures, videos, photographs, drawings, and materials relating to the artist’s performances, and has an accompanying publication. As part of this exhibition, one of the largest works from Matta-Clark’s renowned "building cut" series, Splitting: Four Corners (1974), composed of real building fragments, was shown in Japan for the first time.

Gordon Matta-Clark: Anarchitect at The Bronx Museum of the Arts explored how the artist’s practice introduced radical ways of subverting urban architecture, beginning with the series of "cuts" he produced in the Bronx in the early 1970s. Some of his best-known projects involved laboriously cutting holes in the floors or walls of abandoned or soon-to-be-demolished buildings or, as with Splitting (1974), meticulously slicing a house in two.

Saturday, March 10, 5–6 PM
The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York

Jessamyn Fiore, the exhibition’s curator and co-director of the Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark, and Federica Matta, the artist’s sister, gave a talk about Matta-Clark’s work.

May 5–September 3, 2017

Splitting, Cutting, Writing, Drawing, Eating...Gordon Matta-Clark explored the actions and activities that characterized the artist's groundbreaking practice.

The exhibition included letters, drawings, photographs, notebooks, and films related to key projects by Matta-Clark drawn from the archive of the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montréal, and focused on the social and creative aspects of his approach—as he described it, of "making space without building it."

A photo of an artwork by Gordon Matta-Clark, titled Splitting, dated 1974.

November 7, 2019–February 16, 2020

Passing Through Architecture: The 10 Years of Gordon Matta-Clark will trace the artist’s radical approach to art making from 1968 to 1978 through more than four hundred drawings, photo-works, films, and archival documents. A central figure of the downtown New York art scene in the 1970s, Matta-Clark directly engaged the urban environment and the communities within it.

With actions and experimental works that include large-scale architectural interventions in which he physically cut through buildings slated for demolition, Matta-Clark developed a singular method that transcended the genres of performance, conceptual, process, and land art, making him one of the most innovative and influential artists of his generation. As Roberta Smith notes, Matta-Clark “used his skills to reshape and transform architecture into an art of structural explication and spatial revelation.”

Curated by architectural historian Mark Wigley, this show is part of “Architecture & City,” a thematic program of exhibitions and research at the Power Station of Art. It aims to examine Matta-Clark’s relentless exploration of topics including architecture, space, biology, and ecology; to question the nature of built and natural environments, as well as human life beyond the scope of architecture fifty years after the artist’s return to New York; and to rethink the multifaceted legacy left by modernist urban-planning ideas.

In the spirit of Matta-Clark’s architectural “cuts” through structures awaiting destruction, this exhibition will follow an existing breach at PSA: an invisible diagonal line that passes through the entire building. 

Image: Gordon Matta-Clark, Splitting, 1974 (detail)

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