A Holy Grail of Graffiti, Gordon Matta-Clark’s 1972-73 Archive of Photographs Resurfaces

A Holy Grail of Graffiti, Gordon Matta-Clark's 1972-73 Archive of Photographs Resurfaces
In the summer of 1972, a 29-year old Gordon Matta-Clark began to photograph NYC’s exploding graffiti movement. There are many significant things to consider here. One, this pre-dates the style we would begin to recognize as “graffiti” as documented in later books like Subway Art. This is an innocent time, an origin story, and Matta-Clark was capturing it with the sense innocence but acute interest. Matta-Clark himself was approaching architecture and urban space as the canvas for his own significant body of work. He is known now, famous for, his site-specific works, claiming unused or forgotten space, and transforming into something different. He was socially engaged, a rebel, an activist. Space and how to use and who uses it was important. And…

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