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Image of Untitled 13043

2003.11.52

Artist

Roberto Sebastián Matta

Title

Untitled

Creation Date

ca. 1951-1953

Century

mid-20th century

Dimensions

18 in. x 25 in. (45.72 cm x 63.5 cm)

Object Type

drawing

Creation Place

South America, Chilean

Medium and Support

graphite and crayon on paper

Credit Line

Bequest of William H. Alexander

Copyright

This artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.

Accession Number

2003.11.52
The Chilean artist Matta had already established a network of friends among European modernist architects and Surrealist artists when he arrived on the New York scene in 1939. There he played a pivotal role in the inception of Abstract Expressionism. This drawing dates to the next phase of Matta’s career, when he lived an itinerant life in Europe (from 1948), and pursued work that clashed with the expectations of his European and American cohorts. Matta initiated a work by making uncontrolled marks and smudges on paper (or canvas) that freed his imagination. He then interpreted these notations with pencil and crayons. Chance and improvisation were to him the means to express the other, unspeakable, even unthinkable side of existence. Like his friend and collaborator Marcel Duchamp, for Matta human desires and the workings of the mind were a constant concern.

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