Anytime I’m in the room with one of my pieces, I change it in some way. That’s my pleasure as an artist—the actual making of the work, and the idea of doing that once and for all, of stopping the flow seems arbitrary (…) I want it [art] to be still breathing.
– Tina Girouard, interview with Liza Béar, Avalanche, Summer/Fall 1973.
Rhona Hoffman Gallery is pleased to present Gordon Matta-Clark, Suzanne Harris, Tina Girouard: The 112 Greene Street Years, a group exhibition curated by Jessamyn Fiore.
Bringing together works by Gordon Matta-Clark, Suzanne Harris, and Tina Girouard, this show celebrates the three artists’ historically important work as part of 112 Greene Street’s artistic community in early 1970s SoHo. One of the first and most active artist-run institutions in New York City, 112 Greene Street was founded in October 1970 in a former rag-salvaging factory. Artists occupied and transformed the space’s industrial physicality to suit their innovative practices. Within this interdisciplinary and experimental environment, Matta-Clark, Harris, and Girouard collaborated and experimented, coupling sculptural installation with performance and film.
In the spirit of these three artists’ alternative community—one which included nearby FOOD restaurant and the group Anarchitecture—this exhibition explores both the domestic and the urban everyday. Girouard’s installations appropriate elements from the “skin” of a house, such as wallpaper, linoleum, and fabric, that allow the work to evolve in conjunction with the performers occupying it. Matta-Clark cut through buildings, exposing their past while transforming its architecture into something opened to fresh light, air, and perspective. Harris sought to traverse thresholds, building from physical space to its metaphysical extension. Her work sits at the nexus of contemporary dance and art nascent elsewhere in the city and her sculptural installations were often activated by her own gravity-defying body, with pieces such as Wheels or Flying Machine, which were documented in a film also on view in the second floor gallery space.
This collected body of work speaks to the importance of the interpersonal artistic relationships that generated profound artistic growth through critique, collaboration and friendship. These extended to the city itself in an evolution beyond minimalism, connecting directly with the social and urban environment in which the artists lived. For Matta-Clark, Harris, and Girouard the everyday—physical bodies, buildings, food, even friendships—offered a new and affective path for the art of that seminal decade.
Rhona Hoffman has exhibited the work of Gordon Matta-Clark since 1978. It is the gallery’s seventh exhibition of the artist’s work and the first exhibition of the work of Tina Girouard and Suzanne Harris.