Gordon
Matta-Clark

Gordon Matta-Clark

Gordon Matta-Clark, son of the painter Roberto Matta and of the artist Anne Clark, born in New York in 1943 and dead in New York in 1978, is an American artist famous for his site-specific artworks in the 1970?s and for his « Building Cuts ».

From 1962 to 1968, he studied architecture in Ithaca, New York. Nevertheless, he left the school for one year, in 1963, to study french litterature at the Sorbonne. In Paris, he met deconstructionist philosophs and situationists, who are going to have a great influence on his carreer, especially for their studies on diversion and on the reuse of pre-existent artistic elements in a new arrangement.

After a few exhibitions, especially with Dennis Oppenheim, he moved in New York at the beginning of the 1970?s, and founded a restaurant in Soho in 1971, « Food », managed by artists, which became a meeting place for numerous artists groups or dancers. The same year, he added his mother name to his name, to distinguish himself from his father.

Gordon Matta-Clark is known for his « Building Cuts », often executed on abandoned buildings or houses. These works changed the perception of the building and its close environment.

To keep a print of his work, he used many mediums, as photography, film or video. This use of medias allowed Matta-Clark to create new materials to practise his art, by executing photomontages of the buildings or houses he cut.

Among his most famous works, we can site « Office Baroque », executed in Antwerpen in 1977, consisting of the cutting of a five floors building, as well as « Conical Intersect », Matta-Clark?s contribution to the Paris Biennale  of 1975 and criticism of the urban gentrification by the incision of two seventeenth century buildings soon to be demolished, not far from the Centre Pompidou, then in construction.
Gordon Matta-Clark?s public intervention has all been destroyed and therefore are not visible today, but subsist thanks to his  photographical and cinematic works.

He died in 1978, aged of 35, from pancreatic cancer.