Monday, June 22, 2015

Birthday: Gordon Matta-Clark (1943-1978)

I first became familiar with the great conceptual artist Gordon Matta-Clark at a Bay Area exhibition in the late Eighties, by which time he had already been gone for a decade; he died of cancer at 35, in 1978. It seems to me that the quality of a conceptual artist's thought must be very high, since thoughts are their basic materials; the manifestations can't much outstrip the concepts behind them. Matta-Clark, born into a family of distinguished artists -- his father was the Chilean painter Roberto Matta -- had an extraordinary mind, and my initial encounter with his work practically blew me into the Pacific Ocean. There is so much to him, but the famous and provocative "building cuts" are an excellent place to start:

Gordon Matta-Clark

Gordon Matta-Clark

Gordon Matta-Clark: Works and Collected Writings

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