Roberto Antonio Matta

Ackermans Fine Art

Roberto MattaChilean (1911-2002)

Born in Santiago, Chile, Roberto Antonio Matta became one of the most successful and prominent Chilean artists of the twentieth century.  He worked with photography and video productions as well as ceramics and paintings.  Matta graduated from Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in 1935 majoring in architecture and interior design.  Following his graduation he travelled to Peru, Panama and the United States.

Influenced during his travels by artists such as Le Corbusier, Salvador Dali and André Breton, Roberto Antonio Matta began creating surreal geometrical drawings of the buildings and architecture.  Like many artists during that period, Matta travelled overseas to Paris where he met many of the leaders of the surrealist movement.  His friend André Breton was very encouraging to him and introduced him to many influential artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Pablo Picasso.  Matta’s travels had a lasting impact and pointed him in the direction of surrealism and abstract art.

By the late 1930’s, Roberto Matta had immigrated to the United States.  It was during Matta’s decade in the US that he switched from the drawings and sketch work to oil paintings.  By the 1950’s he began adding new dimensions with blends of organic forms to his work.  He was one of the first artists to move along this direction with the abstract art form.  During the 1960’s and 1970’s, Matta continued to travel throughout Europe and South America creating surreal canvases, but he began incorporating his political views into his art forms. Roberto Antonio Matta was a strong supporter President Salvador Allende’s socialist government in Chile and he believed that his art would help influence the Chilean people. During his later years Matta travelled mostly through France, England, and Italy, where he operated a pottery school, a studio and a gallery. Roberto Antonio Matta passed away in November 2002 at the age of 91 while in Italy.