I went to the Gordon Matta-Clark show at MOCA on Saturday. He was a well-known artist in the late ’60s and ’70s, and died in 1978 at age 35. He’s most memorable for cutting a house in half:
I remember this image so clearly from my art classes. He was a very prolific artist, and since most of his projects were huge and not readily preserved, his work is memorialized in photos and chunks of buildings for the show. I don’t imagine it was an easy show to curate.
Matta-Clark helped found a restaurant in the 1970s in SoHo called “Food”, a self-proclaimed “perpetual dinner party” and run by artists. He had an item on his menu called “bones”, consisting of oxtail and frog legs, and the diner could have the bones strung into a necklace after the meal. His restaurant preceded Moosewood, a famous artist founded vegetarian restaurant in Ithaca. Matta-Clark was known for using food as part of his art. One of my favorite things in the exhibit was the excerpts from a note he wrote to his friend Lee Jaffe, in which he was trying to talk him into donating his body to a cannibalism project:
“…We will each achieve fulfillment by giving ourselves over to the tastes and delight of the banquet. Lee- just imagine what a a fabulous treat you would make. You would not only be well remembered, but superbly catered. Remember, there is no rush… I understand that this is an important decision. You will be the leader of an incredible eatable art movement -Plus! Think of what a great film it would make.