Gordon Matta-Clark: You Are the Measure


Gordon Matta-Clark, Circus or The Caribbean Orange, 1978, Silver dye-bleach print, Installed: 42 ¼ x 64 ½ in. (107.3 x 163.8 cm), Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Bergman and Susan and Lewis Manilow, 1978.1.a–b Photo: © MCA Chicago © Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark


The MCA presents the first full-scale retrospective in 20 years of the work of Gordon Matta-Clark, organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art and curated by Whitney curator Elisabeth Sussman. During the brief but highly productive decade that he worked as an artist—and even more so since his untimely death—Gordon Matta-Clark (1943–1978) exerted a powerful influence on artists and architects and has emerged as a key figure of the generation that came after minimalism.

This retrospective celebrates the brilliance and radical nature of his work in various media: sculptural objects (most, notably, from building cuts), drawings, films, photographs, notebooks, and documentary materials. Matta-Clark’s work has particular relevance for Chicago. He created his last major work on the site of the MCA’s original building in 1978. The project, titled Circus or The Caribbean Orange, consisted of massive cuts into a neighboring townhouse before its annexation and renovation into galleries. The Chicago presentation features additional never-before-displayed archival material from this project. The MCA presentation is coordinated by MCA Curator Lynne Warren.