Chilean Roberto Matta (1911 – 2002) seemed to have a life far removed from avant-garde painting. His training was that of an architect, and as such he traveled toPariswhen he was barely 20 years old to work with none other than Le Corbusier. However, in the French capital he would have some crucial contacts for his career, since for language reasons he quickly got involved withPicassoandJoan Miró. And soon after, in 1934, he traveled toSpainwhere he metGarcía Lorcaand alsoSalvador Dalí.
Psychological Morphology by Roberto Matta
That was going to be crucial for him to definitely turn to the art of painting, and especially within the stream ofSurrealism. In fact, among his friends, characters likeRené MagritteorMarcel Duchamp.
So in 1938 he made his series of works en titledPsychological Morphologiesin which he openly opts for a type of automatic painting. Absolutely automatic, everything that comes to mind is transferred to the canvas. It is his unconscious that expresses itself freely, without any mediation of reasoning. That is why he was praised to excess by the members of thesurrealist movement, led by the poetAndré Breton, the same as a decade older late itexpelled from the group for being too unorthodox.
In this series of Matta, as we can see in this work owned by Fundación Telefónica, the artist shows us that he is passionate about colour, strong colours, and also about forms halfway between abstraction and the figurative. They are not completely recognizable but not completely abstract. They have some organic.
The truth is that after that time in Europe, the Chilean returned to America, but to the North, where he established contact with Jackson Pollockor Robert Motherwell and it is clear that his now famous Psychological Morphologys influenced these artists and early Expressionism Abstract.
From then on he continued to travel, first toMexicowhere muralism changed his conception of format, so that from then on his works are much more large. Later, in the 50's, he was inCuba, where his art gained reality and political awareness. He was heavily involved with the Cuban Revolution and also with other leftist movements in Latin America, of course those related to his own country,Chile where a character of the magnitude of the socialist Salvador Allende was going to emerge. But even so, although his art never abandoned its social content, he always had a surrealist ingredient, yes, now much more dominated by the figurative.
Undoubtedly a most personal, unexpected and also very interesting vital and artistic trajectorythat of Roberto Matta, who finally passed away in Italy in the year 2002.