Winter 2005–2006

Appetite for Destruction

The art of demolition

Gordon Matta-Clark and J. Mark Loizeaux

Trained as an architect, the conceptual artist Gordon-Matta Clark (1943–1978) was best known for a series of radical “de-construction” projects from the early 1970s in which he used power tools to make cuts in structures—ranging from private houses to large apartment buildings and warehouses—slated for demolition. In the previously unpublished exchange of letters reproduced above, Matta-Clark writes to “Mrs. Fredry Loizeaux” (co-founder, with her husband Jack, of Controlled Demolition Inc., one of America’s leading demolition firms) expressing his admiration for her family’s work and inquiring whether they might consider collaborating on a future project involving what the artist dubs “a new choreography for the violent alteration of buildings as art.” The response is written by Mrs. Loizeaux’s son, J. Mark Loizeaux, the firm’s current president. Correspondence courtesy Collection Centre Canadien d’Architecture/Canadian Center for Architecture, Montreal. On deposit from the Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark. Copyright J. Mark Loizeaux.
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