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Matta(Roberto Sebastián Antonio Matta Echaurren) (rōbĕr`tō sābästyän` äntōn`yō mät`tä ĕkhär`rĕn), 1911?–2002, Chilean painter who left his native country for Paris (1935) and thereafter worked in Europe and the United States, b. Santiago. Matta was an exponent of surrealismsurrealism
, literary and art movement influenced by Freudianism and dedicated to the expression of imagination as revealed in dreams, free of the conscious control of reason and free of convention.
..... Click the link for more information. in the group around André BretonBreton, André
, 1896–1966, French writer, founder and theorist of the surrealist movement. He studied neuropsychology and was one of the first in France to publicize the work of Freud.
..... Click the link for more information. in the late 1930s. His pictures present volatile forms engulfed in cosmic upheaval; their strange effects have been compared to science fiction. After the mid-1940s his canvases portray the interactions of various mutant creatures. He cultivated "accidents" of automatic drawing and spilled pigment in an attempt to spontaneously access the unconscious. From 1939 to 1948 Matta lived and worked in New York. There his ideas on abstraction profoundly influenced his friend Arshile GorkyGorky, Arshile
, c.1900–48, American painter, b. Armenia as Vosdanig Adoian. He escaped the Turkish slaughter of Armenians, emigrated to the United States in 1920, studied at Boston's New School of Design, and moved to New York City in 1925.
..... Click the link for more information. and were important to such exponents of abstract expressionismabstract expressionism,
movement of abstract painting that emerged in New York City during the mid-1940s and attained singular prominence in American art in the following decade; also called action painting and the New York school.
..... Click the link for more information. as Pollock, Rothko, Baziotes, and Motherwell. It was thus that his concepts helped to develop a new and distinctive language of abstract painting in America. Matta's work is included in many public collections, e.g., Let's Phosphoresce by Intellection, II in the Nelson Gallery–Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Mo.
See studies by W. Rubin (1957), I. Clurman (1970), and E. T. A. Smith et al. (2001).