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[Walls Paper].

Stock Code 112336

[New York], [n.p], [ca. 1973].

Original price $32,925.00 - Original price $32,925.00
Original price $0.00
$32,925.00 - $32,925.00
Current price $32,925.00
Privately issued format with interventions
inscribed by Gordon Matta-Clark.
Gordon Matta-Clark was a catalyst for the creation of Soho as a new social and artistic area of New York City in the early 1970s, best known for the site-specific artworks he called 'building cuts,' sculptural transformations of architecture produced through direct cuts into condemned buildings scheduled for demolition. Owing to their ephemeral nature, and the fact that many were inaccessible to the public, these works exist only as sculptural fragments or in documented form as photographs, videos and films.

Walls Paper is his first, and most structurally and conceptually complex, artists' book, published in an unstated edition, variously given as 300-500 or 1000 copies, with 100 signed. Separate from the published edition is this privately issued format, half the size, and hand-assembled by Matta-Clark as an end-of-year gift to friends. We know of just one other example, which was given to Richard Artschwager. This copy from the library of Tommy Mew, inscribed:

'Many thanks for your / curious gift / well wishes for the year ahead / Gordon Matta-Clark.'

Walls Paper was conceived in 1972 when he was making his Bronx Floors works, a series of unauthorised rectangular cuts made through the floor and ceiling of apartments in derelict buildings in the South Bronx. Walls Paper, a play on the words wallpaper and newspaper, consists of coloured photographs of the exposed walls of one of these condemned tenement buildings. The photographs of partially demolished walls, taken over a period of several months, reveal multiple layers of paint and wallpaper from previous occupants. The chronology of the evolution and production of this work is slightly unclear, but the generally accepted account is that 'Matta-Clark reconceived these images as a form of recapitulated wallpaper, enlarging and printing them (with the help of his friend Joan Simon, whose Buffallo [sic] Press] ultimately published the book) in newly acidic colors on long strips of newsprint that he hung on the walls and piled on the floor for an October 1972 exhibition at 112 Greene Street, the alternative space in SoHo he had co-founded a few years earlier with Jeffrey Lew and Alan Saret. At the conclusion of the show, the prints were cut into the form of artists' books and bound between black-and-white covers depicting decrepit walls... In their consideration of architecture and decay and their unusual "built" structure, the Walls Paper books... are vivid instantiations of the central concern of all of Matta-Clark's bookworks: namely, the "relations between photographs, books, and buildings" (Artists Who Make Books, 180).

Artists' book, a hand-assembled separate issue, inscribed by Gordon Matta-Clark on the verso of the upper cover; (130 x 198 mm, 5 x 7¾ in); black-and-white photographs overprinted with yellow, green, brown, purple, blue, and burgundy, printed as offset lithographs on newsprint, several interventions by Matta-Clark including cuts and folds; photo-illustrated wire-stitched card covers, light wear, creasing to spine; 30 leaves.

Printed Matter: Die Sammlung Marzona in der Kunstbibliothek / The Marzona Collection at the Kunstbibliothek 140; The Photobook: A History II, pp148-149; Esthétique du livre d'artiste 1960/1980 pp247-248; Artists Who Make Books 93 pp180-181.

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[Walls Paper].

[MATTA-CLARK, Gordon].

Stock code: 112336



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