MATTA. Museo Bellas Artes, Bilbao (2011) - Side Gallery

Side Gallery

Side Gallery





Y DISEÑO, 1924-2020

MAY 16 2011 - OCT 21 2011

He was a controversial and visionary artist, a pioneer of the relationship between art, science and nature, and defended the primary role of art in the development of the human being.

This exhibition was co-organized by Acción Cultural the Valencian Institute of Modern Art and the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, where it was sponsored by Iberdrola, was shown to celebrate the centenary of Matta's birth and aims to give a comprehensive outlook of his work through a tour of the most significant moments of his career.

Matta's painting maintained figurative references throughout his career. In the mid-thirties he began a path towards abstraction, placing biomorphic forms in a kind of interior landscapes. In the 1940s, their language was made more abstract by taking elements from nature, science, mathematics, and geometry. Beginning in 1944, the dramatic events of World War II awakened his consciousness, broke with abstraction, and painted humanoids in nightmarish settings.

"Their language was made more abstract by taking elements from nature, science, mathematics, and geometry"

This double tension between figuration and abstraction and between the reflection of interior states and the outside world characterizes Matta's entire career, but in the middle of the last century his concerns were directed towards human behaviour and violence, in contrast to abstraction and then dominant informalism. In the works of this period, loaded with anguish, violence and sexuality, it also includes the influence of primitive art and of the civilizations of Antiquity, anthropology and mythology, in a wide iconography that goes from New Guinea to America pre-Columbian. This fascination with primitive art was also materialized in an extraordinary collection that Matta collected over the years.

Considered the last great surrealist, he was also during the years of his exile in New York the link between surrealism and the young American artists of the New York School, such as Robert Motherwell and Jackson Pollock, among others. His work, extensive, complex and verbose in themes, motifs, shapes, colours and media, configures a unique artistic language.