Critics’ Picks

Still from the film Bingo, 1974.

Still from the film Bingo, 1974.

New York

Gordon Matta-Clark

David Zwirner | 525 & 533 West 19th Street
525 & 533 West 19th Street
April 10–May 8, 2004

During a prolific career of eight short years, Gordon Matta-Clark sliced through architecture, served food, went underground (literally), and danced in a tree. In 1974, he cut the side of a condemned Niagara Falls house into nine equal parts, removing all but the central panel. Near the end of the color film that documents this theatrical deconstruction and demolition (titled Bingo), the house is shot head-on, flat as a painting, paradoxically revealing inside and outside simultaneously. (Note the experience of watching this on Super 8 instead of video.) The “Bingo” Cibachromes displayed in the front gallery offer more painterly effects, while in the back room—where three panels from the house's facade are mounted in a discombobulated row—things go in a breathtakingly sculptural direction. What a life-affirming shock to see something other than mere documentation of Matta-Clark’s work: He really did exist.