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date: 09 December 2019

Matta-Clark, Gordonlocked

(b New York, June 22, 1943; d New York, Aug 27, 1978).
  • Morgan Falconer

Extract

(b New York, June 22, 1943; d New York, Aug 27, 1978).

American sculptor, film maker, photographer and draughtsman. The son of painter Roberto Matta, he studied architecture in Ithaca, NY, at Cornell University (1962–8), where he mixed with artists and showed little ability for his chosen subject. There he met Robert Smithson, whose interests in land art and the theory of entropy (concerned with dissipating energy) were a significant influence on him. On completion of his studies he moved to New York and became a well-known figure among artists in SoHo. He is best known for a series of ‘building cuts’ (1972–8) in which he carved sections out of old buildings, treating them (in the manner of modern sculptures) as spatial compositions; see Splitting, 1943–1978. Calling these transformations ‘Anarchitecture’, Matta-Clark carved the buildings up with a chain saw, documenting the changes in films and photographs subsequently exhibited in galleries, often alongside fragments of the buildings themselves. His most celebrated work, ...

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