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Roberto Matta Out to Alisma #2, 1948 Oil on canvas / Öl auf Leinwand 111 x 85.5 cm © Estate Roberto Matta



24.02.2024 - 02.06.2024

Roberto Matta Les Témoins de l’univers, 1947-48 Oil on canvas / Öl auf Leinwand 218.5 x 296 cm © Estate Roberto MattaRoberto Matta Untitled, 1972 Oil on canvas / Öl auf Leinwand 150 x 150 cm © Estate Roberto MattaRoberto Matta Les Roses sont belles, 1951 Oil on canvas / Öl auf Leinwand 201 x 281 cm © Estate Roberto MattaRoberto Matta Untitled, 1979 Oil on canvas / Öl auf Leinwand 162 x 214 cm © Estate Roberto MattaRoberto Matta L’x de l’espace, 1960 Oil on canvas / Öl auf Leinwand 200 x 300 cm © Estate Roberto MattaRoberto Matta, La naissance de l’ômme, 1982 Öl auf Leinwand 200 x 172 cm © Estate Roberto MattaRoberto Matta, Le palais du soleil, 17. August 1982 Erdpigmente auf Juteleinen  195 x 206 cm © Estate Roberto MattaRoberto Matta, Coïgitum, 1972 Öl auf Leinwand 400 x 1000 cm © Estate Roberto MattaRoberto Matta, Cycle “Babbo Napalm”, 1973 Öl auf Leinwand 106 x 86 cm © Estate Roberto MattaRoberto Matta, El Burundi Burunda ha muerto, 1975 Öl auf Leinwand 200 x 443 cm © Estate Roberto Matta

Roberto Matta (1911-2002) is considered one of the most visionary painters of the 20th century. He not only left his mark on art history, but also significantly influenced numerous artists, including Arshile Gorky, Dorothea Tanning, Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell, or brought them to art in the first place.

His biography is that of a cosmopolitan: born in Santiago, Chile to Spanish-French parents, he lived and worked in South America, France, Mexico, the USA, Italy, Spain and England. In 1934, at his father's request, he joined Le Corbusier's office in Paris, but did not pursue a career in architecture; instead, he began painting in 1938 and exhibited at the legendary Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme in the same year. At the end of the 1930s, he emigrated to New York, where he soon had his first solo exhibition at the Julian Levy Gallery. In New York, Matta became a figurehead for the later New York School of Painting in particular, but unlike the representatives of Abstract Expressionism, he never abandoned representationalism for his art.

His work is just as international as his biography: Matta himself coined the term "technique of psychological morphologies". His paintings always depict a kind of "inner landscape", which Matta called "inscape". One searches in vain for a vanishing point in Matta's painterly cosmos. Transcendence, mysticism and the automatism so important to surrealism are Matta's constant companions. Technically, the application of paint with a sponge is typical; only then did Matta work on his canvases with a brush. Fluidity and the blasting of boundaries as well as topical political references are - and this continues to make Matta a pillar of contemporary art production - essential conditions of his artistic output. His politically alert mind and his unconditional commitment to an open society also make him appear from today's perspective as a pioneer of an art that not only demanded the social responsibility of artistic endeavour, but actively lived it.


The exhibition at the Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien presents Matta's artistic galaxies in seven rooms. The project is being realised in collaboration with the Matta Archives and the Galerie Gmurzynska.


Matta-log, Morphology of Desire, published by Kunstforum Wien on the occasion of the exhibition “Matta,” edited by Fabrice Flahutez.



Opening on Friday, February 23, 2024 at 18:30

Exhibition visit from 19:00-22:00

MATTA Videopodcast

24.2.2024 - 2.6.2024 Videopodcast zur Ausstellung

Bring your headphones to the exhibition space! By invitation of the Kunstforum, the writer Natascha Gangl and Rdeča Raketa, the electronic music duo of the composers Maja Osojnik & Matija Schellander, have set a selection of Roberto Matta's paintings into sound.

to the soundcomics

curated by

Ingried Brugger


Matta Archives

Galerie Gmurzynska

Katalog Matta © Courtesy Matta Archives, Tarquinia

Matta-log Morphology of Desire

€ 39,00

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