Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture from Chicago Collections

Jacques de Caso, 1963

Matta (Roberto Matta Echuarren) was born in Chile in 1911 and has resided in France since the ’30s. After World War II he achieved worldwide fame and is now recognized as among the leading artists of today. His work is represented in the most prominent private and public collections in Europe and America.

Although he is not openly associated with any specific pictorial movement, his art cannot be understood without understanding the artistic aims of the last Dada painters and of the Surrealists. Following a short training as an architect in Le Corbusier’s atelier in 1924, he joined the Groupe Surrealiste in 1937. Oelze, Tanguy, and Max Ernst helped him to develop his extraordinarily deep inquiries into the poetical activities of the para-conscious mind. In Matta the primacy of a rich pictorial vision is dominant and this reassuring concern for the expressive qualities of color and form characterizes his work.

He achieved international recognition at his Parisian exhibition at the Drouin Gallery in 1949, for which Andre Breton, the founder of Surrealism, wrote a definitive comment, and in the United States in 1957, at the Museum of Modern Art.

This text was originally published in the exhibition catalogue.