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CCA’s exhibition series examines Gordon Matta-Clark’s collection

The Canadian Centre for Architecture’s (CCA) 2019-2020 Out of the Box project examines writings, photographs, films, correspondence, and selects artworks of trained architect and conceptual artist, Gordon Matta-Clark.

Donated to the CCA by the Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark, the multidisciplinary artist’s collection is a fundamental repository of documents and materials connected to finished projects and unrealized pieces.

Gordon Matta-Clark in Sag Harbor, New York, 1976–1977. PHCON2002:016:005:046, Canadian Centre for Architecture Collection, gift of Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark. Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark

While Matta-Clark’s works were a clear product of his time and environment, the themes he addresses in relation to architecture and urbanism correspond with today’s cultural and societal climate. The architect’s conceptual art reflected neglect, speculation, questions of access, corporatization and gentrification.

Using the CCA collection as an active tool to use its holdings to challenge the role of architecture today, three curators, Yann Chateigné, Hila Peleg and Kitty Scott, were invited by Out of the Box to produce thematic interpretations that expand the study of the Matta-Clark’s practice.

In the first exhibition, titled Material Thinking, curator and art historian Yann Chateigné sheds light on lesser-known aspects of Matta-Clark’s practice while reflecting on his diverse personal library.

Credit line: Collection Centre Canadien d’Architecture / Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal Don de la succession Gordon Matta-Clark / Gift of Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark

Matta-Clark’s material thinking stems from unexpected sources and brings together varying areas of interest that intersect the histories of architecture, magic, cognitive science, network theory, anthropology, and ecology.

The artist’s collection explores hidden aspects of a continuous research process that is seen in his writing practice and visual mediums such as photographs, drawings, sketches and drafts of concepts for proposed projects.

Rather than reifying his collaborative process and exploring the artist’s visual production, Chateigné’s research and exhibition reveals new references that lie behind the critique of architecture that Matta-Clark unfolded during his decade of works.

Credit line: Collection Centre Canadien d’Architecture / Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal Don de la succession Gordon Matta-Clark / Gift of Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark

Running between June 2019 and May 2020, the show highlights the physical, psychological, and conceptual processes behind the exhibiton.

Funded under the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal, the CCA acknowledges the support of the ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Conseil des arts de Montréal.


Curator: Yann Chateigné, Project direction: Francesco Garutti, Graphic design: Joris Kritis, Design: Anh Truong, Sébastien Larivière, Curatorial research: Louise Désy, Helina Gebremedhen, Megan Marin

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