The Rapidian

Two free exhibition events spotlight influential New York artist

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SiTE:LAB celebrates the artwork of Gordon Matta-Clark on Thursday, August 25, 2016 at the Grand Rapids Art Museum and on Friday, August 26, 2016 at the Rumsey Street Project.
"Conical Intersect",1975

"Conical Intersect",1975 /Image courtesy of the Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark

Underwriting support from:

Gordon Matta-Clark Exhibition Events

Gordon Matta-Clark Lecture and Films

Thursday, August 25, 2016

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Grand Rapids Art Museum, 101 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Tickets are free and can be oprdered via Eventbrite:

Event Page on Facebook:


Gordon Matta-Clark SiTE:LAB Opening Reception

Friday, August 26 2016

7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

SiTE:LAB, 333 Rumsey St. SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503


Event Page on Facebook:














"Splitting", 1974

"Splitting", 1974 /Image courtesy of the Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark

As a pre-cursor to this year’s ArtPrize events, SiTE:LAB is presenting two consecutive nights dedicated to the artwork of Gordon Matta-Clark. As part of the exhibition, Jessamyn Fiore, a New York-based curator, writer and the co-director of the Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark will return to Grand Rapids to present a talk on Matta-Clark.

Gordon Matta-Clark is generally considered one of the most influential American artists of the 1970’s. During his brief but prolific career, he transformed our understanding of how an artist can directly engage with his or her lived environment as he evolved obsolete architectural structures into works reflective of not only their rich history, but also turbulent present context.

Night one, hosted at the Grand Rapids Art Museum on Thursday, August 25, 2016, features screenings of Matta-Clark’s 16mm films: "Fire Child", "Day’s End" and "City Slivers" and the lecture by Fiore. 

Night two on Friday, August 26, 2016 at SiTE:LAB Rumsey Street Project, is an opening reception and pig roast held in conjunction with the ArtPrize Eight Volunteer Kick Off Party. Attendees of this second evening highlighting the work of Gordon Matta-Clark can view a series of his short films, "Splitting", "Bingo", "Conical Intersect" and "Food" in the garage bays on Rumsey Street. 

Both Matta-Clark events are free and open to the public. Matta-Clark’s work on exhibition at SiTE:LAB Rumsey Street Project will also be on display during SiTE:LAB’s ArtPrize exhibition titled “EVERYTHING IS TRANSFORMED.”

Last year during ArtPrize, SiTE:LAB facilitated “Gordon Matta-Clark: The Anarchitect,” a Pop-Up talk by Fiore. That talk in 2015 provided a venue for SiTE:LAB co-founder and curator Paul Amenta and Fiore to develop a collaborative relationship that led to the upcoming exhibition of Matta-Clark’s work here in Grand Rapids.

“This is sort of a major deal,” said Amenta. “I talk about this in sort of a calm way, but I am so excited I can barely contain myself that this exhibition is happening.”

“Jessamyn ended up coming to the opening of our ArtPrize project at Rumsey Street, said Amenta. “She was excited about what SiTE:LAB is doing and how we are in many ways sort of carrying the torch of those early Gordon Matta-Clark experiments, engaging spaces and activating what you might call abject spaces, spaces that aren’t being used or are in transition, and engaging communities.”

“That SiTE:LAB takes the artistic practice of Gordon Matta-Clark as part of its inspiration is an exceptional reflection of his artistic legacy,” said Fiore. “And it asserts SiTE:LAB as a great addition to the ongoing urgent conversation about the potential of contemporary art to effect real change.”

For anyone familiar with both SiTE:LAB and Matta-Clark’s work, it’s not surprising that Amenta counts Matta-Clark as one of his influences. Having first encountered Matta-Clark’s work as an undergrad student studying sculpture at Grand Valley State University Amenta recalled, “It really opened up other strategies on how to approach an artistic practice. Art doesn’t have to be the discreet object in-and-of itself, it could be an intervention on an existing piece of architecture.”

Touching briefly on plans and progress for SiTE:LAB’s ArtPrize exhibition this year, Amenta commented that the Matta-Clark exhibition within SiTE:LAB’s overall ArtPrize exhibition is really an aspect that has set the tone for the entire site.

“Look for a lot of architectural intervention. I’m sure if you talk to many of the artists in our ArtPrize show this year, they would be happy to discuss how Gordon Matta-Clark has at least in some way along the line been inspirational.”

Interviewed earlier for a separate feature, artist Julie Schenkelberg acknowledged the connection of her ArtPrize project “Transmigration," which involves transforming an entire house, to the work of Matta-Clark. “I see the house project as a female appropriation of Matta-Clark’s iconic cuts, translated into the language of my own process as an artist, paying homage to his important legacy. Working in a massive, invasive scale has traditionally been a male artist’s language, I am excited to transfer this scale into my own work.” 

SiTE:LAB extends gratitude to the following for making this two-night exhibition possible: the Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), National Endowment for the Arts, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, Herman Miller Cares, the Frey Foundation, and the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

Gordon Matta-Clark’s work is represented by the David Zwirner Gallery in New York City.

Tickets are free and can be ordered via Eventbrite

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