Rethinking Postminimalism: Gordon Matta-Clark and the Cut, ca. 1970


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


Art History and Archaeology


This dissertation considers the work of Gordon Matta-Clark (b. 1943- d. 1978), an American architect-turned-sculptor, as a means to rethink the central issues of the aesthetic and discursive field known as postminimalism. Best known for his building cuts, in which he performed sculptural transformations on abandoned structures, Matta-Clark was a pivot of New York’s alternative arts scene in the 1970s. Joining discourses from art history, architecture, and media studies, this project considers the ways in which Matta-Clark alternately disorients and expands understandings of postminimalism’s central category—sculpture—at a moment when sculpture was being radically destabilized by forces both within and without art’s disciplinary purview.