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Matta (aka Roberto Matta)

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20th Century Modern Painter
France, (November 11, 1911–November 23, 2002) Roberto Matta was born in Santiago, Chile in 1911 and was educated there at the College of the Sacred Heart and at the Catholic University, graduating in 1931 with a degree in Architecture. In 1936 Matta went to Paris and found employment as a draftsman with Le Corbusier. During this period, he met Pablo Neruda and Federico Garcia Lorca. Through Lorca, he met Dali, and through Dali he met Andre Breton who was impressed enough to buy some of Matta's drawings. In 1938, Matta joined the Surrealist group and participated in the International Surrealist Exhibition in Paris. At the outbreak of war in Europe, Matta , along with the other painters most associated with the movement, came to New York. His first one-man show was given at the Julian Levy Gallery in 1940. Max Ernst, whose name is inseparable from Surrealism, and Roberto Matta began an association with Peggy Guggenheim's influential New York gallery, Art of the Century, in 1941. Matta was a friend of Jackson Pollock during this time and was a very strong influence on the art of his close friend Arshile Gorky, whose work is said to have been a bridge between European Surrealism and what a new generation of American Surrealists were to make of it. Andre Breton considered Gorky to be the most important of the American recruits to Surrealism. Much younger than most of his colleagues, Matta endeavored to make a place for himself by extending the scope of Surrealism. His works, in their structure, sometimes suggest his Architectural training, yet the landscapes of his mind often depict other, impossible worlds.
November 23, 2002, Tarquinia, Italy

2004 - 2005: "Matta on Paper, The John Todd Figi Collection," October 9, 2004 - February 6, 2005, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, California
2004: "Matta: Making the Invisible Visible," February 1 - May 24, 2004, McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts
2001 - 2002: "Matta in America: Paintings and Drawings of the 1940s," Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California; Miami Art Museum, Miami, Florida; July 13 - October 20, 2002, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
1999: Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
1999: "Retrospective," Centro Cultural Caixa, Barcelona, Spain
1997: "MATTA 1940's - 1990's: Following the Footsteps of a Giant," May 1 - May 31, 1997, Sindin Galleries, New York, New York
1997: "Matta: Drawings and Paintings," April 5 - May 31, 1997, Latin American Masters, Beverly Hills, California
1995: "Roberto Matta: Chilean Surrealist," November 10 - December 20, 1995, Sindin Galleries, New York, New York
1992: "Crosscurrents of Modernism: Four Latin American Pioneers," Hirshhorn Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.
1989: "Art in Latin America: The Modern Era, 1820-1980," Hayward Gallery, London, England
1987: "Matta: Oeuvres Recentes 1980 - 1987," June 24 - September 13, 1987, Centre Culturel, Issoire, France
1980: "Les Does de Des," June - July, 1980, King Galeries, Paris, France
1980: "Il Cuore e un occhio," May 15 - August 15, 1980, Palazzo D'Alessandri, Viterbo, Italy
1979: "L' homme Descend du Signe," Centre Culturel Municipal, Ville Parisis, France
1979: "La Araucana," January 11 - February 25, 1979, Stamperia della Beauga, Firenze, Italy
1978: "55 Dessin de Puis 1937," September 26 - November 10, 1978, Galerie du Dragon, Paris, France
1978: "Hom'mer Etchings," February 1 - February 26, 1978, Kattles Yard Gallery, Cambridge University, Cambridge, Engand
1977: "Matta," April 3 - June 30, 1977, Palazzo degli Alessandri, Viterbo, Italy
1977: Hayward Gallery, September 27 - November 20, 1977, London, England
1976: "Homage to the Pyrennees," July - August, 1976, Castellnou, France
1976: "Matta," Casa de las Americas, Havana, Cuba
1975: "Matta, A Totemic World," Andrew Crispo Gallery, New York, New York
1975: "Matta. Homenaje a Jorge Zalamea," February - March, 1975, Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico
1974: "Matta," July 12 - September 29, 1974, Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanover, Germany
1974: "Roberto Sebastian Matta, Dare alla Vita una Luce," January 11 - January 31, 1974, Centro di Sperimentazione Artistica, Sala I, Rome, Italy
1973: "Matta," November 1 - December 16, 1973, Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara, Italy
1973: "Insieme a Matta per il Cile, Manifestazione di Solidarieta con il Popolo Cileno," Museo Civico, Bologna, Italy
1972: S. Pancrazio, Tarquinia, Italy
1970: "Matta," May - August, 1970, Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany
1970: "Matta, Grimau-l'Heure de la Verite 1964/5," March - April, 1970, Michael Hertz, Bremen, Germany
1969: "Matta, Saerudstilling af Silkeborg Museums Samlinger," Kunstmuseum, Silkeborg, Denmark
1969: "Lieberos," Galerie Iolas, Milan, Italy
1968: "Dada, Surrealism and their Heritage," The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York
1968: "Etre avec Reveil Matta," Musee d'Art et d'Histoire, Saint-Denis, France
1967: "Matta," Galeria Latinoamericana, Casa de las Americas, Havana, Cuba
1966: "Matta. Le Honnie Aveuglant," Galerie Alexander Iolas, Paris, France
1966: "Art of Latin America since Independence," Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut
1965: "Matta. Le cube ouvert," August 8 - September 26, 1965, Kunstmuseum, Lucerne, Switzerland
1965: "Matta. Sculpture and Paintings," Gimpel Fils, London, England
1964: "Documenta III: Malerei und Skulptur. Handzeichnungen," June 27 - October 5, 1964, Kassel, Germany
1964: "El Artista del Mes: Matta," February 15 - February 26, 1964, Casa de las Americas, Musei Nacional, Havana, Cuba
1963 - 1964: "Matta," May - June 1963, Museo Civico, Bologna, Italy; September 13 - October 20, 1963, Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Vienna, Austria; November 19, 1963 - January 5, 1964, Kunstverein fur die Rheinlande und Westlafen, Dusseldorf, Germany; January 17 - March 2, 1964, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium
1962: "Matta, Un Trittico ed Altri Dipinti," Galleria L'Attico, Rome, Italy
1959: "Sebastian Matta, 15 Former av Tvivel," Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
1959: "Matta," October 4 - October 20, 1959, Sala de Exposiciones Fundacion Eugenio Mendoza, Caracas, Venezuela
1957 - 1958: "Matta," September 10 - October 20, 1957, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; November 15 - December 30, 1957, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; January 18 - March 2, 1958, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts
1956: "Matta, 'Terres Nouvelles'," June 8 - June 30, 1956, Galerie du Dragon, Paris, France
1955: "III Bienal," July - October 1955, Museu de Art Moderna, Sao Paulo, Brazil
1955: "Matta of Chile. Oils and Drawings," February 16 - March 15, 1955, Pan American Union, Washington, D.C.
1954: "Pitture di Matta," August 30 - September 8, 1954, Galleria del Cavallino, Venice, Italy
1953: "Matta," August 16 - August 28, 1953, Sala Napoleonica, Venice, Italy
1951: "Matta," January 16 - February 15, 1951, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, England
1950: "Matta. Fosforesciamo," Galleria dell'Obelisco, Rome, Italy
1949: Galerie Drouin, Paris, France
1942 - 1949: "Matta," March 31 - April 21, 1942, Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, New York
1947: "Exposition Internationale du Surrealisme," July 7 - August 7, 1947, Galerie Maeght, Paris, France
1947: "Matta," Galerie Rene Drouin, Paris, France
1942: "First Papers of Surrealism," October 14 - November 7, 1942, Coordinating Council of French Relief Societies, Inc., New York, New York
1942: "Arists in Exile," March 3 - March 28, 1942, Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, New York
1940: Solo show, Julian Levy Gallery, New York, New York
1938: "International Surrealist Exhibition," January - February, 1938, Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, California
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana
Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York
Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York
National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York
Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogota, Colombia
Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, D. C.
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
Fundacion Proa, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Fundacion Telefonica, Chile
Guilford College Art Gallery, Greensboro, North Carolina
Kresge Art Museum at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California
Museum of Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island
Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, Poland
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium
Tate Gallery, London, England
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Work History
1966 - 1968: Collaborative painting with art students, Havana, Cuba
1966: Art Teacher, School of Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota
1937 - 1947: Member, Surrealist Group
1937: Architecture group, Spanish Republican Pavilion, Paris International Exhibition, Paris, France
1933 - 1934: Draftsman in studio of Le Corbousier, Paris, France
1933: Worked as a Merchant Marine, traveling around Europe

1929 - 1931: Catholic University of Santiago, Santiago, Chile
Achitecture and Interior Design, Sacre Coeur Jesuit College, Santiago, Chile

November 11, 1911, Santiago, Chile

Artist Objects

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