Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Rhona Hoffman Gallery celebrates the closing of "The 112 Greene Street Years" tonight

Posted By on 08.07.13 at 12:44 PM

From Splitting by Gordon Matta-Clark
  • Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark, Artists Rights Society
  • From "Splitting" by Gordon Matta-Clark
The paradox of the gallery for me has always been that it's a fixed physical space filled with shifting emotional content. The way I understand and respond to the space is directly related not only to the art it holds, but also to the people within it. That said, I've always preferred the closing of a show to an opening. Openings are festive, sometimes a little raucous, always filled with an air of anticipation. They're usually hot and invariably loud, not entirely unlike a New Year's Eve party, the historical bane of my calendar year. I'm never entirely comfortable at parties, so it would follow that I would never be entirely comfortable at openings. But I've always loved closings, and the idea of celebrating the brief life of a show. At a closing you're in a space that's had time to adjust to the presence of the work. The space has been filled with people, it has sat empty, it has played host to the lone viewer who stops by on a Tuesday afternoon. Time has changed the relationship between the space and the work, and the mood that fills the room. It's quieter, more contemplative.

I can think of no other artist whose work is better understood at a closing party than Gordon Matta-Clark. A trained architect and a conceptual artist, he eschewed easy categorization as either and instead occupied a strange place between the two. During his brief life, Matta-Clark challenged our understanding of physical spaces, questioning the notions of stability, structure, and shelter. He split an entire house into two equal parts, creating a fissure directly down the center of the American dream. He cut an enormous, eye-shaped hole into the side of an industrial warehouse, allowing light to spill upon surfaces as never before. And he bought up odd little corners of New York at $25 a pop—patches of grass and asphalt too small to be valuable—creating meaningless ownership, a fractured estate.

Rhona Hoffman Gallery has been exhibiting Matta-Clark's work since 1978, the year of his death from pancreatic cancer. Tonight from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, the gallery will celebrate the closing of its seventh Matta-Clark show, "The 112 Greene Street Years," which exhibits his work alongside two of his contemporaries, Suzanne Harris and Tina Girouard. So go experience the work in the same spirit as it was created, taking in its last breaths before the meaning is forever changed.

Rhona Hoffman Gallery, 118 N. Peoria, 312-455-1990

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