Texts by Elizabeth Sussman, Joan Simon, Tina Kukielski, Briony Fer, Gwendolyn Owens, Spyros Papapetros, and Christian Scheidemann
Qualifying the ancient Greek saying “Man is the measure,” Gordon Matta-Clark (1943–1978) asserted instead “You are the measure,” conveying the defining theme in an oeuvre that would exert a powerful influence on fellow artists and architects. In artworks that combined minimalist, conceptual, and performative practices, Matta-Clark gave primary importance to the individual and considerations of everyday life. This comprehensive book incorporates important new information from the Matta-Clark archive, presenting a compelling reappraisal of the unique beauty and radical nature of Matta-Clark’s punnings, plans, performances, and interventions evident in the many media in which he worked: sculptural objects (most notably from building cuts), drawings, films, photographs, and documentary material.
The son of Chilean Surrealist painter Roberto Matta and godson of Marcel Duchamp, Matta-Clark trained as an architect. He is renowned for his poignant use of urban landscapes, creating many site-specific works (often outside of a museum or gallery context) in New York and abroad. In this handsome book, distinguished scholars of contemporary art provide new insights into Matta-Clark’s work: the reception of his art during his lifetime; the impact of his socially engaged lifestyle; the production of his films; his photography, in particular his collages that have not been thoroughly explored; the creation and conservation of his building cut Splitting; and much more.