Gordon Matta-Clark: Splitting. 322 Humphrey Street as it was left abandoned. 98 Greene Street Loft Press, NY, 1974. 32 pages. Oblong quarto. First edition. Stiff printed wrappers. Saddle-stitched [staple-bound] binding. Black-and-white reproductions with 1 triple gate-fold tipped into inside of rear cover.
A rare 1974 artist's book in which Gordon Matta-Clark documents one of his now famous architectural interventions. Largely using a chainsaw, Matta-Clark would remove sections of abandoned buildings, carving them up to reveal strange, disorienting perspectives. As in many conceptual practices, the photos are all that remain of the work, making his artist's books vital elements of the work itself. New York Times architectural critic Nicolai Ouroussoff wrote at the time of Matta-Clark's 2007 Whitney Museum retrospective, "Few artists could match his ability to extract raw beauty from the dark, decrepit corners of a crumbling city. Fewer still haunt the architectural imagination with such force...[Matta-Clark] cleverly...challenged the high priests of architecture who, in [his] mind, inhabited a world of lofty abstractions divorced from the physical reality of everyday life."
As his fellow artist Dan Graham has said, "Matta-Clark used houses and building structures which were about to be demolished and created de-constructed "ruins" which reveal hidden layers of socially concealed architectural and anthropological family
meaning...Half-remembered, the existence of a Matta-Clark
work now takes the form of a photograph or film or drawing in
conjunction with the viewer's own memory and knowledge of the city."
An unusually crisp, clean copy; Fine-; some rippling to gate-fold and wear to rear wrapper (a result of unevenly applied adhesive in production)