about the exhibition

Gordon Matta-Clark

Office Baroque


Known for his “building cuts,” for which he removed sections of floors, ceilings, or walls from existing structures to deconstruct viewers’ perceptions of their environments, Gordon Matta-Clark called Office Baroque an “enforced opportunity to develop ideas about spatial rhythm and complexity…an almost musical score in which a fixed set of elements played their way up and down through the layers.” In addition to the cut, he exhibited color photo collages of the transformed interior, for which he combined multiple views to disrupt the authority of any one perspective.

Gordon Matta-Clark (b. 1943, New York; d. 1978, New York)
Office Baroque, 1977
Parquet wood flooring, drywall, and wood with Cibachrome print on masonite
Photo: 30 x 20 in.; floor: 15 3/4 x 59 x 90 1/2 in.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Partial and promised gift of Blake Byrne

A simple cut, or series of cuts, acts as a powerful drawing device able to redefine spatial situations and structural components. What is invisibly at play behind a wall or floor, once exposed, becomes an active participant in a spatial drawing of this building’s inner life. The act of cutting through from one space to another produces a certain complexity involving depth perception. —Gordon Matta-Clark

Art Terms