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Gordon Matta-Clark: A Retrospective

DATES May 08, 1988 through July 11, 1988
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
  • April 1, 1988 Gordon Matta-Clark: A Retrospective, the first comprehensive exhibition of the work of the late American artist Gordon Matta-Clark (1943-1978), will open at The Brooklyn Museum May 13 and remain on view in the East End Galleries, located on the fifth floor, through July 11, 1988. The exhibition comprises one hundred and sixty works, including photographs, spanning the artist’s ten-year career from 1968 to 1978. Matta-Clark is best known for his “architectural cuttings.”

    The artist, son of Surrealist painter Matta, received his B.A. in architecture at Cornell University in 1968. He was an organizer of Anarchitecture, a group of artists who met informally to explore architectural scale, location or metaphor in their work. He was also a key figure in establishing Solo as an artists district, and helped start the restaurant Food, which was used as an artists cooperative, providing jobs, meals and a meeting place. Matta-Clark died of cancer at the age of 35.

    Though his career lasted only a decade, Matta-Clark was one of the most innovative artists of his generation. He created monumental three-dimensional sculptures by cutting through portions of buildings slated for demolition or renovation, thereby manipulating formal spatial relationships and allowing light to penetrate previously enclosed areas. The fragments he removed from these buildings also became sculpture. Matta-Clark considered the process performance art and he photographed it from many angles. In this way the artist broke conventional boundaries between architecture, sculpture, performance art and photography and influenced contemporary art well beyond his lifetime.

    The Brooklyn Museum installation was coordinated by Charlotta Kotik, Curator of Contemporary Art. It has been made possible, in part, with generous support from the Jacob Starr Foundation, Linda and Harry Macklowe, and an anonymous donor.

    The exhibition, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue and includes an essay by art historian and critic Robert Pincus-Witten and interviews with well-known personalities in the art world who were closely associated with the artist ($25.95).

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1971 - 1988. 1988, 043-44.
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