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Roberto Matta
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Roberto Matta

Civitavecchia, Italy

Roberto Sebastián Antonio Matta Echaurren (1911 – 2002), better known as Roberto Matta, was one of Chile's best-known painters and a seminal figure in 20th-century abstract expressionist and surrealist art.

It was the French writer André Breton who provided the major spur to the Chilean's direction in art, encouraging his work and introducing him to the leading members of the Paris Surrealist movement. Matta produced illustrations and articles for surrealist journals such as Minotaure. During this period he was introduced to the work of many prominent contemporary European artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp.

The first true flowering of Matta's own art came in 1938, when he moved from drawing to the oil painting for which he is best known.

In his art Matta creates new dimensions in a blend of organic and cosmic lifeforms. He was one of the first artists to take this abstract leap.