ROBERTO SEBASTIÁN MATTA (Chile 1911- Italy 2002)
Seating system model “Malitte”
Named after Malitte Pope, Matta´s wife
Manufactured by Gavina (1966 – 1968)
and Knoll International (1968 – 1974)
Foam, wool fabric
160 cm x 160 cm x 63 cm
63 in x 63 in x 24,8 in
Malitte is a seating system, an ever-changing composition of five polyurethane blocks covered in a slightly elastic fabric.
A playful collection of colored interlocking organic shapes that can be assembled into a single sculpture, a “wall” dividing the environment with its formal and conceptual presence, which, when necessary, can instantly become a complete living room: a two-seater sofa, three seats and a pouf.
Malitte is included in the permanent collection of MoMA – the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
After graduating from university in Santiago de Chile in 1935 with a degree in architecture, Roberto Matta traveled to Europe where he met André Breton, the founder of the Surrealist movement in Europe. In 1938, he began painting and moved to the United States for ten years. During this period he sought to evoke the human psyche in his work, inspired by Freudian psychoanalysis. Matta’s works became increasingly dominated by a socio-political element, which broke from the conventions of Surrealism.
Matta was also a seminal figure in Abstract Expressionism but broke away from this too to develop a highly personal artistic vision. His mature works blend abstraction with elements of figuration and fantastically-conceived, multi-dimensional space. He was heavily involved in the social movements of the 1960s and ’70s and a strong supporter of Salvador Allende’s socialist government.