Matta has often described himself as a wanderer. This is true both in a geographic and
artistic sense. He was born in Santiago, Chile the son of Basque parents. After
graduating from architecture school, he moved to Paris and was soon working in the studio
of Le Corbusier. He continued his travels to Italy, Russia and Spain, where he met the
poet Federica Garcia Lorco who provided him with a letter of introduction to Salvador
Dali. By the late 1930’s Matta had exhibited his first drawings and had become a part
of the influential Surrealist Group led by André Brenton. Matta has always been attracted
to the inner self and the unconscious. He put forward a Freudian theory of architecture
and painted what he called Psychological Morphologies. The paintings developed with the
Surrealist Group and depicted imagery of the unconscious mind. The direction of his
work changed when he met Marcel Duchamp and at the same time became fascinated by the
relationship between modern man and the technological world. By the 1960’s Matta had
become a French citizen. His work became more Expressionistic and began to reflect
what became for him his main concern in the 1960’s and beyond. His work began to
show a more political theme but still pursuing his quest for the unconscious.
Matta is represented in major museums and private collections throughout the world. The work of this great artist spans a period of more than 50 years. He continues to work and travel.