Gordon Matta-Clark, son of Surrealist painter Matta, was part of a generation of artists in the mid-1960s and early 1970s who broke away from the orthodoxies of formalism and conventional art-making practices through anarchic, cross-media experimentation. Before his death from cancer in 1978 at the age of 35, Matta-Clark was renown for his architectural projects in which he hand-cut whole sections of the floors, walls, ceilings and roofs of derelict or abandoned buildings to reveal the underlying, hidden spaces within.
Bronx Floors (1972-72) marks the beginning of Matta-Clark's physical interventions on buildings in the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn, a process he and his friends called "anarchitecture." After cutting into the floors and ceilings of his chosen sites, Matta-Clark would remove the severed sections to the alternative gallery, 112 Greene Street, where the rectagular and L-shaped pieces were exhibited either vertically on the floor or horizontally on trestles. By presenting them in this fashion, Matta-Clark created the possibility of viewing these cuttings as "sculpture" while highlighting their function as decontextualized historical artifacts. The Bronx Floor fragments were shown in conjunction with photographs of the particular site from which they were taken. These photographs comprise both single images as well as spliced together pairings of alternative views of the cuttings in situ, calling to mind the multiple viewpoints of Cubism.
Bronx Floors: Threshole, is one of the few extant couplings of a floor-cutting with a photographic triptych. The three vertical panels document the same cut from above, parallel to the floor and from below, thus revealing the building's infrastructure as well as a disjointed juxtaposition of light, edges and geometric form. The title plays with the idea of the threshold: a passage through something as well as a passage to another place.