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Gordon Matta-Clark

Letters by Gordon Matta-Clark will be on display at Colony

5th – 20th December 2013

Opening reception Wednesday 4th December, 6pm

The spirit and determination of Gordon Matta-Clark is highlighted through some rarely seen letters on display at Colony. Special thanks to the Estate of Matta-Clark (held at CCA , Montreal).

Below is an excerpt from an essay by James Attlee for Colony

Below is an excerpt from an essay by James Attlee for Colony

“This exhibition, through its focus on the artist Gordon Matta-Clark, evokes a time when the urban landscape – in his case, that of downtown New York – offered different opportunities. When vast abandoned warehouse spaces could be broken into and sliced up, reconfigured, without anyone noticing. When performances could be staged on rooftops, exhibitions in dumpsters on the street and inaccessible slivers of land in the city grid bought for a few dollars each to become purposefully purposeless artworks. A time, above all, when a community of artists lived and worked in close proximity; a community apparently not motivated primarily by a desire for success in commercial terms, as no such success was yet on offer for the kind of work they made. As open to experiments in living as they were in art, they formed the main audience for each other’s sketchily documented shows.

This era – the 1970s – lies beyond the reach of the internet and is thus firmly located in the realm of myth, regained only through increasingly inconsistent and contradictory human memories.  We have one record, though: a record that makes no attempt to be historically accurate, complete, logical or even grammatical – the writings of Gordon Matta-Clark, a motley collection assembled after his death in 1978 at the age of 35, a mere nine years into his career as an artist……. “

The essay will be available in full to pick up in print at the exhibition

Gordon Matta-Clark (1943 – 1978) is widely considered one of the most influential artists working in the 1970s, a key figure in the growth of New York’s downtown art scene. He is most renowned for his building cuts, his collaborative projects like FOOD restaurant and for evolving the concept of ‘anarchitecture’.


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