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Roberto Matta

"We need walls like wet sheets to change shape and espouse our psychological fears."

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Notes of biography

Roberto Sebastian Antonio Matta Eschaurren, said Roberto Matta, was born in Chile (Chiloe) in 1911. Grown in a worthy family, he studied Architecture at the University of Santiago-du-Chili and obtained his degree in architecture in 1931. He came to Europe, visited numerous countries, and settled down one time in Paris where he worked in Le Corbusiers atelier. He left Paris for London and practiced with Walter Gropius and with Moholy-Nagy; he met Henry Moore and Magritte.
Discovered in the "Cahiers dArt", Matta liked the work of Duchamp and the esotericism. The surrealism called him! Matta drew more and more and his ability to conceive forms in the space, his natural skill, his stunning imagination and ceaselessly on the alert, were shown trough his work already. He met Dali, who introduced him to Andr Breton. He was a provocative, a captivating young man always dressed in white, the surrealist group enlisted him immediately.
Matta began painting in 1938 and, the same year, participated in the International Exhibition of the Surrealism. He emigrated to New York in 1940; he met a lot of surrealists there, got acquainted with Marcel Duchamp, contributed to several reviews. Matta went back to Paris; he painted, did decorations of theater, and was "excluded" from the surrealist group in 1948 (this same group "reinstated" him in 1959!).
Matta settled down in Rome from 1949 till 1954, then, became itinerant, sharing his time between France and Italy, stayed in North and South America (Cuba). He was discharged of his Chilean nationality in 1974, after he had participated actively in the demonstrations following the fall of the President Allende.
Pioneer above all, painter of the dreams and the feelings, Roberto Matta's work is present in the biggest museums of the world and the list of the exhibitions organized on his name is not ready to be closed.
He passed away on November 23rd, 2002 in Civitavecchia, near Rome.

Artists on display

The art and the artists display: proclamations, galleries, museums, personal or collective exhibitions. On walls or in shop windows, wise or rebels, posters warn, argue, show. Some were specially conceived by an artist for such or such event, other, colder, have only the letter.

Some were created in lithographic technic, most are simple offset reproductions. They are many those who like collecting these rectangles of paper, monochrome or in games of colours, in matt paper or brilliant, with many words or almost dumb.

We are happy also to be able to greet, by this pages, mythical galleries as those of Denise René, Louis Carré, Claude Bernard, Berheim Jeune, Maeght, Pierre Loeb and others.

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Complete work(s)

Complete work(s)
All the complete works

Bibliographic track and more

To read about the artist :
  • Sur Matta , M. Fardoulis-Lagrange, Belfond, Paris, 1969
  • Roberto Matta , Dominique Bozo, MNAM, Paris, 1985
  • Matta : entretiens morpholgiques , Sistan, Lugano, 1987
  • Matta, Wieland Schmied, Wasmuth Verleger, 1991
  • Matta - Corpo a corpo, Giuliano Briganti, Ed. Feltrinelli, 1993
  • Masson et Matta : les deux univers , O. Paz, Yokohama Museum of Art, 1994
  • L'occhio la finestra, collectif, cat. d'expo., Galleria Maggiore, 2002
  • Matta 1911-2011, collectif, cat. d'expo., Ed. IVAM, Valencia, 2011
  • Matta Sculpture, A. Calarota, F. Gualdoni, cat. d'expo., Silvana Ed., 2015
  • Matta - in the 1950' and 1960', M. Sawin, PaceWildenstein Ed., 2016
To read from the artist :
  • Entretiens sur le surralisme et la rvolution , F.C. Toussaint, Juin 1966
  • Les yeux du cosmos - Entretiens avec R. M., E. Carrasco, Manuella Ed., 2013
Website :
www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/matta

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Art movements

+ SURREALISM / 1924-1969 / Marcel Duchamp, Dora Maar, Kurt Schwitters, Taro Okamoto, Antonio Berni, etc.
+ ATELIER 17 / 1927-1965 / Anton Prinner, Mauricio Lasansky, Jacques Lipchitz, Mark Rothko, etc.
All art movements

See & discover

Beyond works currently in stock, it seemed to me useful to combine business with pleasure by letting you discover others works by artists in my gallery. These artworks, now sold or removed from our website, have been in our stock in the past.

These pages will undoubtedly make it possible for some of you to associate an image with its title or the other way round, for others it will be a good time to discover more on such and such artist. For the sake of confidentiality – the pieces being no longer available – we won't display neither their numbering or their price. For whatever reason, make sure to visit this amazing art database with to date 6441 online works just for your pleasure! Michelle Champetier

See & discover