Chilean Surrealist Roberto Matta is celebrated for his otherworldly, psychological landscapes that influenced Abstract Expressionism. If you’re looking for original Roberto Matta prints and editions for sale or would like to sell, request a complimentary valuation and browse our network’s most in-demand works.

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Born Roberto Antonio Sebastián Matta Echaurren on November 11, 1911, in Santiago, Chile, Matta was originally trained as an architect. His early life was marked by a passion for the arts and the intellect, which led him to study at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Matta's quest for artistic exploration took him to Paris, where he worked as a draughtsman for famed architect Le Corbusier. It was in Europe that he encountered the influential artists and thinkers who would encourage his transition from architecture to painting.

Matta's development saw him joining the Surrealist group in 1937, where he honed his unique style under Salvador Dalí and André Breton. His early works were characterised by a fascination with the subconscious and dream-like spaces, employing a technique he referred to as psychological morphologies. These biomorphic and spatially complex compositions would become a hallmark of his oeuvre, challenging perceptions and inviting introspection.

During the 1940s, Matta settled in New York, becoming a conduit of Surrealist ideas to the burgeoning circle of artists who would later form the Abstract Expressionist movement. His influence is particularly noted on artists such as Jackson Pollock, William Baziotes, and Arshile Gorky, with whom he shared his philosophy and techniques, including automatism and emphasis on spontaneous creation.

Matta's work evolved through several phases, marked by a continuous exploration of space and the depths of human consciousness. His later works often reflected his political concerns and social commentary, responding to the tumultuous events of the 20th century. He created vast, cosmic scenes that seemed to depict the psychological landscapes of humanity, filled with tension and conflict.

Throughout his career, Matta was celebrated with numerous exhibitions and retrospectives, showcasing his work in prestigious galleries and museums worldwide. Roberto Matta's legacy is that of an artistic innovator who transcended boundaries and enriched the dialogue between European and American art. His works continue to captivate and influence artists, securing his position as a visionary of modern art.