(1911 – 2002), Chile

Roberto Matta Biography

A Chilean artist, Roberto Matta Echaurren was born in Santiago de Chile in 1911 and died near Roma in 2002.

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After having studied architecture in his home country, he moved to France in 1933 and joined Le Corbusier's studio. He then travelled in Spain, Scandinavia or London, and met Henry Moore, Roland Penrose, Alvar Aalto or René Magritte.

When he discovered Matta's work, Dali introduced him to André Breton. Matta was then introduced to Surrealism and pulled away from Le Corbusier's rationalism. During a stay at the château de Chemillieu, he met Yves Tanguy who would have a major influence on his style. Since then, Matta explored automatic writing: applying colour with a rag, he let the colour decide the pictorial layout.

Exiled in New York with Marcel Duchamp, he exhibited at the surrealist gallery Julien Levy. In the USA, he got passionate by new scientific theories and experienced phosphorescent painting. It gave his paintings the possibility to change depending on the lighting. He notably welcomed Jackson Pollock in his studio.

After having settled down in Italy, Matta returned to Chile and participated in the first Cultural Congress in Havana in 1968. However, the overthrow of the general Pinochet in 1973 forced him to break with his Chilean roots and to return in Italy. This separation would be for Matta, a decisive element in the assertion of his style and he would said himself: 'It is that exil that determined my entire life, between two cultures. My work is a work of separation. [...] From exile I came to the 'Ex-il', somewhere between the known and the unknown, between reality and imaginary. Where poetry begins'.

Text courtesy Helene Bailly Gallery.

Roberto Matta Featured Artworks

L'homme descend du signe by Roberto Matta contemporary artwork painting
Roberto Matta L'homme descend du signe, 1975 Oil on canvas
410.8 x 833.1 cm
Pace Gallery
Les Témoins de l’univers by Roberto Matta contemporary artwork painting
Roberto Matta Les Témoins de l’univers, 1948 Oil on canvas
218.5 x 296 cm
Galerie Gmurzynska Contact Gallery
Phosphorece (Le Cube ouvert) by Roberto Matta contemporary artwork painting
Roberto Matta Phosphorece (Le Cube ouvert), 1949 Oil on canvas
88 x 117 cm
Galerie Gmurzynska Contact Gallery
Samotriosa (Goal) by Roberto Matta contemporary artwork sculpture
Roberto Matta Samotriosa (Goal), 1975 Bronze
Galerie Gmurzynska Contact Gallery
Aldala by Roberto Matta contemporary artwork sculpture
Roberto Matta Aldala, 1975 Bronze
Galerie Gmurzynska Contact Gallery
Untitled by Roberto Matta contemporary artwork painting
Roberto Matta Untitled, 1952 Oil on canvas
Galerie Gmurzynska Contact Gallery

Roberto Matta Recent Exhibitions

Roberto Matta Represented By

Pace Gallery contemporary art gallery in 540 West 25th Street, New York, USA Pace Gallery Beijing, East Hampton, Geneva, Hong Kong, London, New York, Palm Beach, Palo Alto, Seoul
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