Roberto Matta (1911-2002)
Oil on Burlap
139.7 x 188 cm
At the age of 22 Roberto Matta (1911-2002) left his birthplace, Chile, for Paris and later the United States where he met major figures in the Surrealist circle including Arshile Gorky, Salvador Dali, René Magritte and the movement’s ideologist André Breton whose influence led him o become one of the movement’s most admired painters.
Three Figures, an oil on burlap picture from 1958, currently held by the M.T. Abraham Foundation contains the classic elements of a Matta’s early figurative painting: linear drawing, dynamic gestures, erotic symbolism and a neutral spatial environment. Matta’s exaggerated anatomical images, graceful and often infused with a comic zest were serious expressions of profound personal and social issues. He was a supporter of Salvador Allende’s socialist government in Chile until Pinochet’s military coup in 1973.