Kenyon College

Gordon Matta-Clark


Born in New York in 1943, Gordon Matta-Clark (1943-1978) 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. Gordon Matta-Clark: Above and Below marked the fifth solo exhibition of his work at David Zwirner, New York, which was on view from April to May 2013. The exhibition was curated by Jessamyn Fiore, an independent curator, writer, and co-director of the Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark with her mother Jane Crawford, Matta-Clark’s widow. In 2011, Fiore curated 112 Greene Street: The Early Years (19701974) at the gallery in New York, which led to the critically acclaimed, eponymous catalogue, published by David Zwirner and Radius Books in 2012.

In 1985, the first museum retrospective of the artist’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. Gordon Matta-Clark: You Are the Measure was the first full-scale retrospective organized twenty years later by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 2007. The exhibition 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 toured South America to venues including 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 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.

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