How do artist estates and foundations think about legacies? How can an artist’s work and ideas remain necessary and relevant after their passing? In this discussion Jessamyn Fiore, Co-Director, Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark and Lisa Le Feuvre, Executive Director, Holt/Smithson Foundation think together about different approaches to engaging with creative and sustainable artistic legacies.
The Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark is a small, private, family-run artist estate that was started by Jane Crawford, the artist’s widow, after Matta-Clark's untimely death in 1978 at the age of 35. In 2012 Crawford’s daughter, Jessamyn Fiore, officially joined as co-director of the Estate. In 2002, Crawford moved the archive of Gordon Matta-Clark to the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, officially gifting it to the institution in 2011. Since 1998, the Estate has been represented by the David Zwirner Gallery.
Holt/Smithson Foundation develops the distinctive creative legacies of Nancy Holt (1938-2014) and Robert Smithson (1938-1973). Collaborating with artists, writers, thinkers, and institutions the Foundation realizes exhibitions, publishes books, initiates artist commissions, programs educational events, encourages research, and develops collections globally from its headquarters in New Mexico. Holt/Smithson Foundation was willed into being by Nancy Holt in 2014, became active in 2018, and will terminate in 2038, a century after both artists were born.
Soft Network aims to develop and expand networks of support between contemporary artists, artist estates and foundations through the collective realization of interdisciplinary exhibitions, resource sharing and collaborative programming.
AFELL (Artist’s Foundation & Estate Leaders’ List) is an email group regarding the labor & best practices in organizing, maintaining & leading artist foundations & family collections. Members include those actively managing an artist's assets and legacy.
Off Paradise is a gallery located on Walker Street founded by Natacha Polaert in the fall of 2019. The name evokes the old neighborhood of Five Points, at the center of which was a small, triangular park, full of hopes and grime, called Paradise Square. It also invokes Paradise Alley, the artists’ and poets’ colony on the then-godforsaken corner of Avenue A and East 11th Street that is referenced in Jack Kerouac’s novel The Subterraneans. Off Paradise is a fictional place, right off Paradise, adjacent to it, but not exactly it.
Gordon Matta-Clark's work is currently on view in Gordon Matta-Clark and Pope.L: Impossible Failures at 52 Walker in Tribeca, through April 1, 2023. Nancy Holt's work is currently on view in Ecstatic Land at Ballroom Marfa, through May 7, 2023. Robert Smithson's work is currently on view in Rome is Still Falling at MACRO—Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, through May 21, 2023.