Gordon Matta-Clark: An Archival Sourcebook

By Gordon Matta-Clark. Edited by Gwendolyn Owens and Philip Ursprung

An essential reference that provides new understanding of the thought processes of one of the most radical artists of the late twentieth century

Gordon Matta-Clark (1943–1978) has never been an easy artist to categorize or to explain. Although trained as an architect, he has been described as a sculptor, a photographer, an organizer of performances, and a writer of manifestos, but he is best known for un-building abandoned structures. In the brief span of his career, from 1968 to his early death in 1978, he created an oeuvre that has made him an enduring cult figure.

In 2002, when Gordon Matta-Clark’s widow, Jane Crawford, put his archive on deposit at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, it revealed a new voice in the ongoing discussion of artist/architect Matta-Clark’s work: his own. Gwendolyn Owens and Philip Ursprung’s careful selection and ordering of letters, interviews, statements, and the now-famous art cards from the CCA as well as other sources deepens our understanding of one of the most original thinkers of his generation. Gordon Matta-Clark: An Archival Sourcebook creates a multidimensional portrait that provides an opportunity for readers to explore and enjoy the complexity and contradiction that was Gordon Matta-Clark.

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Publisher: University of California Press

Artists: Gordon Matta-Clark

Contributors: Gwendolyn Owens, Philip Ursprung

Publication Date: 2022

Binding: Softcover

Dimensions: 7 × 10 in

Pages: 424

Reproductions: 40 illustrations

ISBN: 9780520280267

Retail: $45 | £38.00

Status: Available

Gordon Matta-Clark

Born in New York in 1943, Gordon Matta-Clark is widely considered one of the most influential artists working in the 1970s. He was a key contributor to the activity and growth of the New York art world in SoHo from the late 1960s until his untimely death in 1978. His practice introduced new and radical modes of physically exploring and subverting urban architecture, and some of his most well-known projects involved laboriously cutting holes into floors of abandoned buildings or, as with Splitting (1974), slicing a suburban villa in two.

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Gwendolyn Owens

Gwendolyn Owens is Director of the Visual Arts Collection at McGill University and former Consulting Curator of the Matta-Clark Archive at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal.

Philip Ursprung

Philip Ursprung is Professor of the History of Art and Architecture in the Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich.