Matta - Contemporary Day Sale London Sunday, June 28, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, Italy

  • Catalogue Essay

    Like the Surrealists, Matta embraced the idea of automatic drawing, painting as spontaneously as possible and as much as possible without forethought, which was purported to be a way of tapping the unconscious. He described his own paintings as "the subconscious in its burning, liquid state; a conscious daytime substitution of the phenomenon of dreams".

  • 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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Oil on canvas.
65 x 81 cm. (25 5/8 x 31 7/8 in).
This work is registered in Matta's archives under number 71/157.

£25,000 - 35,000 

Contemporary Day Sale

29 June 2009, 4pm