Roberto Matta

Roberto Matta

1911 - 2002


Santiago de Chile, 1911 – Civitavecchia, 2002

Chilean-French painter, born in Santiago de Chile in 1911. Considered the last representative of the surrealist movement, Matta exercised an important influence on American surrealism. In 1933 he settled in Paris and worked for two years in the studio of the architect Le Corbusier. Throughout his different stages, trips and important commissions he will meet great personalities and recognized artists. He travelled in Italy, Russia and Spain, where in 1936 he met the poet Federico García Lorca who introduced him to Salvador Dalí.

Between 1939 and 1948 he lived in New York. He exhibited at the Julien Levy Gallery (1940), the Pierre Matisse Gallery (1941) and the Sidney Janis Gallery (1945). On his return to Europe he lived in Rome from 1950 to 1954 and after that he moved to Paris. He lived in the French capital from 1955 to 1969, becoming a French citizen. In 1957 he was given a retrospective at the MOMA (New York), in 1958 at the Museum of Modern Art (Stockholm), and in 1963-64 at the Palais des Beaux Arts (Brussels). From 1969 he lived in Italy although he often travelled to Paris. In 1992 he received the Spanish Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts. He died in Civitavecchia (Italy) in 2002.