Gordon Matta-Clark (1943 - 1978, New York) was a conceptual artist best known for his so-called “building cuts,” a series of site-specific projects, which he carried out in the late 1970s involving the dissection of abandoned buildings. Matta-Clark received formal training as an architect at Cornell University from 1962 to 1968, including a year at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he studied French literature and met Guy Debord and the Situationist International. Matta-Clark never practiced architecture, but instead devised "anarchitecture," an alternative use of buildings. The films and photo collages he made of his “building cuts” dovetail with the experimental, disorienting quality of the architectural cuts, likewise constituting a denunciation of the function of architecture.
Throughout his lifetime the artist received numerous grants and awards including the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (1977) and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Theodoron (1975). Important solo exhibitions include the Paris Biennale (1975), the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (1977; 1978; 1985), the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1986), the Reina Sofia in Madrid (1997; 2006), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (2007). Notable group exhibitions include the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1971), Documenta in Kassel (1972; 1977), the P.S.1 in New York (1976), the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Francisco (1993; 1999), Hamburger Kunsthalle (2000), Tate Modern in London (2005), the Musée National d’Art Modern in Paris (2005), MoMA PS1, New York (2015), and The Art Institute of Chicago (2016). His work is in the public collections of the Canadian Center for Architecture, Montreal, The Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, The Art Institute of Chicago and The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C., San Francisco Museum of Art, The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and the Verbund Collection,Vienna.