Matta - Moss New York Monday, October 15, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection
    ‘Fine American and European Paintings’, Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers, April 30, 2009, lot 140
    Private Collection, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    I’ve joined in a visual dialogue Chilean-born Abstract Expressionist Roberto Matta’s drawing with Maarten Baas’s ‘Clay’ stool. Matta’s exploration of the unconscious mind through representation of the human psyche, taking the form of strangely menacing, machine-like contraptions pitted against highly distressed figures scattered on a featureless background, uses the vernacular of typical children’s drawings.

    ‘Everything in this painting is psychological... How to picture the battle field, not the physical one, but the one inside of us: fear against courage, criticism, and hate, suspicion and trust? An internal bombardment.’ –Roberto Matta

  • Artist Biography


    Chilean • 1911 - 2002

    After graduating from university in Santiago in 1935 with a degree in architecture, Roberto Matta traveled to Europe where he met André Breton, the founder of the Surrealist movement in Europe. In 1938, he began painting and moved to the United States for ten years. During this period he sought to evoke the human psyche in his work, inspired by Freudian psychoanalysis. Matta's works became increasingly dominated by a socio-political element, which broke from the conventions of Surrealism.

    Matta was also a seminal figure in Abstract Expressionism but broke away from this too to develop a highly personal artistic vision. His mature works blend abstraction with elements of figuration and fantastically-conceived, multi-dimensional space. He was heavily involved in the social movements of the 1960s and '70s and a strong supporter of Salvador Allende's socialist government.

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Les vechedors et la poubelle atomique au fond la terre au fond la mer vers la lune

circa 1950
Graphite and colored pencil on paper.
24 x 49 in (61 x 125 cm)
Titled in pencil at bottom. Together with a certificate of authenticity from Germana Matta Ferrari.

$30,000 - 40,000 

Sold for $35,000


16 October 2012
New York