The socially conscious practice of Gordon Matta-Clark (1943–1978) blurred the boundaries between contemporary art and architecture
. After completing a degree in architecture at Cornell University, Matta-Clark returned to his home city of New York, where he initiated a series of site-specific works in derelict areas of the South Bronx. The borough's many abandoned buildings, the result of economic decline and middle-class flight, served as Matta-Clark's raw material. His series Bronx Floors
dissected these structures, performing an anatomical study of the ravaged urban landscape. Moving from New York to Paris with Conical Intersect
, a piece that became emblematic of artistic protest, Matta-Clark applied this same method to a pair of seventeenth-century row houses slated for demolition as a result of the Centre Pompidou's construction.