Gordon Matta-Clark


Antonio Sergio Bessa and Jessamyn Fiore

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"Undoing is just as much a democratic right as doing."---Gordon Matta-Clark

This revealing book looks at the groundbreaking work of Gordon Matta-Clark (1943–1978), whose socially conscious practice blurred the boundaries between contemporary art and architecture. After completing a degree in architecture at Cornell University, Matta-Clark returned to his home city of New York. There he employed the term “anarchitecture,” combining “anarchy” and “architecture,” to describe the site-specific works he initially realized in the South Bronx.

The borough’s many abandoned buildings, the result of economic decline and middle-class flight, served as Matta-Clark’s raw material. His series Cuts dissected these structures, performing an anatomical study of the ravaged urban landscape. Moving from New York to Paris with Conical Intersect, a piece that became emblematic of artistic protest, Matta-Clark applied this same method to a pair of 17th-century row houses slated for demolition as a result of the Centre Pompidou’s construction. This compelling volume grounds Matta-Clark’s practice against the framework of architectural and urban history, stressing his pioneering activist-inspired approach, as well as his contribution to the nascent fields of social practice and relational aesthetics.

Antonio Sergio Bessa is director of curatorial and education programs at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Jessamyn Fiore is a New York–based curator and co-director of the Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark.


Bronx Museum of the Arts

Jeu de Paume, Paris

Kumu Kunstimuuseum, Tallinn, Estonia

Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA

Finalist for the 2018 Alfred Barr Jr. Award for Smaller Museums, sponsored by the College Art Association
ISBN: 9780300230437
Publication Date: November 28, 2017
Publishing Partner: Published in association with The Bronx Museum of the Arts
184 pages, 7 1/2 x 10
90 color illus.
Sanford Biggers


Andrea Andersson and Antonio Sergio Bessa; With contributio

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