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Archived Exhibition

Urban Alchemy/Gordon Matta-Clark
October 30, 2009

Trained as an architect, Gordon Matta-Clark (1943-1978) used neglected structures slated for demolition as his raw material, carving out sections of buildings with a chainsaw. In this way, he revealed their hidden construction, provided new ways of perceiving space, and created metaphors for the human condition.  When wrecking balls knocked down his sculpted buildings, little remained, which is partially why the artist creatively documented his own work with photography, film, and video.  He also kept a few building segments, known as "cuts".  They include a section of an apartment floor (Bronx Floors), three parts of a house near Love Canal (Bingo), a window from an abandoned warehouse on a pier in New York City (Pier In/Out), and four corners from the roof of a house in New Jersey (Splitting: Four Corners). For this exhibition, the Pulitzer is borrowing these very cuts from The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and from the private collection of Thomas and John Solomon.  The Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark is also lending over forty photographs, while the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal, is providing numerous works on paper, including nine drawings. Two of his films, Fire Child and Conical Intersect, will also be shown, offering a means to understand better the performance aspect of his art.  By placing Matta-Clark's rough domestic "cuts" into the pristine public architecture by Tadao Ando at the Pulitzer, we hope not only to offer our audiences new ways to think about the artist and the architect, but also to incite questions concerning the social, political and geographical circumstances that give architecture its meaning. 

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