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Gordon Matta-Clark, Untitled (Energy Rooms), 1974, ink and marker on paper, 7 7/8 × 11".

Gordon Matta-Clark

David Zwirner | 519 West 19th Street

Gordon Matta-Clark, Untitled (Energy Rooms), 1974, ink and marker on paper, 7 7/8 × 11".

Gordon Matta-Clark was as accomplished at making drawings with pencils, pens, markers, and crayons as he was at cutting into abandoned warehouses, suburban homes, and dilapidated tenement buildings with a chain saw. And these drawings offer a variety of insights into the American-born artist’s attitudes about nature, movement, and geometry; the themes that interested him; and the times in which he lived. Several dozen works on paper executed between 1969 and 1977, the year before Matta-Clark died of cancer at the age of thirty-five, were recently on view at David Zwirner.

It’s surprising to discover that Matta-Clark, during a period when so many artists were preoccupied with abstraction, from Minimalist structures to Color Field painting, drew trees. But these works weren’t landscape painting: Matta-Clark studied architecture at Cornell during the 1960s, and for him, trees could

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