Roberto Antonio Sebastián Matta Echaurren was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1911. After studying architecture at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, in Santiago, Matta moved to Europe in 1933. In Paris he took a position as a draftsman in the architectural studio of Le Corbusier in Paris, which he held until 1937. During this time, while travelling in Spain and Portugal, the artist was introduced to the poets Federico García Lorca and Pablo Neruda. Through them, Matta became familiar with Surrealism and after meeting Salvador Dalí and André Breton, he joined the movement in the same year.
In 1939 Matta moved to the United States. In New York, he started to form relationships with the new generation of painters which included artists such as Arshile Gorky, Robert Motherwell, and Jackson Pollock - with whom Matta experimented using techniques inspired by automatic writing. Matta remained in New York for almost a decade, and there established himself as one of the most influential artists of his time - which is confirmed by the exhibitions held throughout the 1940s at the Julien Levy Gallery, at the Pierre Matisse Gallery, at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century and later in the 1957 exhibition at MoMA, curated by William Rubin.In 1948 Matta returned to Paris, and for the following decades he lived and worked between South America and Europe, until he died in 2002 in Civitavecchia, Italy.
Today his works are held in many major collections around the world, including: Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and the Tate Gallery in London.
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