Published to accompany the 2017 exhibition at The Bronx Museum of Arts this catalogue captures the extraordinary work of Gordon Matta-Clark (1943-1978) whose socially conscious artistic urban practice challenged and blurred boundaries between contemporary art and architecture.
Our initial attraction and admiration of his work – best illustrated by “Conical Intersect” (Beaubourg, 1975) – was driven by the aesthetic qualities of how geometrical subtraction and intervention can powerfully transform and repurpose existing structures.
However, Matta-Clark’s creative and activist quest sought a much deeper purpose. As a trained architect he redirected his artistic practice and knowledge to disrupt and criticise the negative role played by commercial and modernist architectural rationale as a means of regulating society.
His ambitious, provocative, site-specific works connect two worlds that were never intended to meet: a building’s interior and exterior. Aesthetically these opposing states collide to expose the raw, base material link between the two – casting and carving symbolic geometries through dissecting layers, delighting in the torn texture and decay of the building fabric to reveal temporal narratives.
Despite his seemingly confrontational stance as the anti-architect, Matta-Clark’s lens provides us with an intellectual framework, as well as innovative creative approach, that allow us to “strip back”, examine and value a building’s history and its context which ultimately leads us towards the transformative reimagination of its future.
Gordon Matta-Clark: Anarchitect – ISBN 978-0-300-23043-7