|About the Book|
After studying architecture at Cornell University, Matta-Clark developed more interest in buildings about to be destroyed than in the ones about to be built, as most architects would. He first forced his way into abandoned apartment buildings in theMoreAfter studying architecture at Cornell University, Matta-Clark developed more interest in buildings about to be destroyed than in the ones about to be built, as most architects would. He first forced his way into abandoned apartment buildings in the Bronx, and using a chain saw, would act as an architecture pirate, cutting pieces of walls and floors, only to leave behind the remains of what once was architecture. From pieces of walls his work shifted in 1974 to the scale of a whole suburban house. Splitting, probably his most popular work, was made by cutting a vertical line through the entire width of the house, and transforming the cut into a yawn, after lowering the foundations on both sides of the house. Erasing the boundaries between architecture, sculpture, and even drawing (his cuts have often been referred to as drawings in space), his building-cuts can also be understood as a social critique of the standardized suburban architecture that flourished during the postwar decades. into four chapters plus an epilogue, this illustrated essay provides insight into the career of the artist, from his childhood spent between New York and Paris, to his premature death in 1978 at the age of 35. This essays spans the multi-faceted practice of Gordon Matta-Clark, with a particular emphasis on his building-cuts, the group of works he is most renowned for and that compose the most important part of his career. and films in Matta-Clarks work. Since his building-cuts were all ephemeral works done on buildings shortly before their destruction, Matta-Clark started to use photography and film as a way to document his actions. But soon photography and film played a much more complex role, and became works of art in their own right. ranging from the restaurant Food that he opened in 1971 in Soho, to the workshop/artists spaces at 98 and 112 Greene Street where he played a key role in their development, to the creation of the Anarchitecture group - a group of artists and architects that proposed alternative and often political and utopian architecture and environment projects - to his Fresh Air piece - a cart with oxygen masks he displayed in Wall Street, free for the passers-by to use. Matta-Clarks work goes much beyond the building-cuts he is most famous for, and is strongly rooted in a notion of social community. interviews, articles, and documents compiled by editor Corinne Diserens. Several interviews, some of them never published before, allow the reader to understand more fully, and through Matta-Clarks own voice, the more pragmatic, technical and physical dimensions related to the creation of his building-cuts. Some articles and essays of reference, most of them published in the 1970s and today out of print, are also republished and offer a unique critical background and context to his work.