"Roberto Matta and the fourth dimension" Automatic translate
с 10 Апреля
по 30 Июня
Главный Штаб Государственного Эрмитажа
Дворцовая площадь, д. 6/8
From April 10 to June 30, 2019, the exhibition of the artist Roberto Matt (1911 - 2002) is presented in the White Hall of the Main Headquarters of the State Hermitage Museum. The works of one of the last representatives of surrealism, almost unknown to the Russian public, are exhibited in Russia for the first time. The exhibition features more than ninety works from twenty-three private collections, mainly from the United States.
Roberto Antonio Sebastian Matta Echaurren was born in 1911 in Santiago, Chile. In his veins flowed Spanish, Basque and French blood. Cosmopolitan artist, Matta lived and worked in South America, France, Mexico, USA, Italy, Spain and England. At the insistence of his parents, who considered painting was not a serious occupation, Matta graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at Catholic University of Santiago. In the 30s, working in the studio of Le Corbusier in Paris, the artist draws close to the circle of surrealists and actively tries himself in graphics. Andre Breton, who supported the search for a young artist, wrote that “Matta in a special way expresses the need for a visual display of a four-dimensional universe. In his works, nothing is intentional anymore, everything appears from the desire to plunge into the realm of the divine. "
Brave, the thirst for knowledge, openness to new trends in art, deep psychologism and interest in technological progress made Roberto Matta a significant figure in the art world. At the same time, he never finally joined one of the trends in painting: experimenting at the intersection of art and science, he never became a surrealist. The desire to reformulate the Renaissance perspective with the help of the unconscious and irrational alienated him from abstract expressionists. Denying the formal framework of styles, Roberto Matta always tested his art with practice, trying to learn the depths of human nature. Turning out to call himself an artist, Matta said: “I am not an artist. I’m someone who is trying
construct images that will one day help us understand the essence of the verb “see”.
Influenced by the ideas of non-Euclidean geometry, Matta tried to give form to mental constructions, to create space beyond the boundaries of a visible, traditional perspective. After participating in the 1938 International Surreal Exhibition, thanks in large part to his friendship with the English artist Gordon Onslow Ford, Matta began to research what he called "psychological morphologies." It was Ford who introduced Roberto Matt to the works of Pyotr Demyanovich Uspensky, the Russian philosopher and theorist of the “fourth dimension”. Matta shared Ouspensky’s idea that the fourth dimension complements the third with a sense of space, a sense of movement, and a sense of time, necessary to realize the constant and irreversible process of changing the world, in which every new moment is different from the previous one.
In the book “Tertium Organum” (1912), Ouspensky writes that the mind unconsciously “corrects” what the eye sees to make up for visual restriction. So, for example, with the help of mental concepts, we are able to understand volumes, although we only see their external surfaces. According to Ouspensky, it is the artist who takes on the special role of a visionary conductor who “must see what is inaccessible to others” and “must have the gift to open his eyes to others that they don’t see for themselves.” Often, in order to explain his arguments, Ouspensky drew geometric lines, planes, cubes and spheres as a metaphorical explanation of the forms of the human psyche. Roberto Matta adopted the use of geometry to describe invisible structures. Overcoming the limitations of human vision, he sought to create art that "sees more and more."
Like many artists, with the outbreak of World War II, Roberto Matta emigrated to the United States. Around the same time, the beginning of his work in the technique of oil painting. He arrived in New York in 1939, and a year later, his first overseas exhibition was held at the Julian Levy Gallery.
Over time, Matta in his work began to gravitate towards monumentalism. His giant five-meter canvases - "landscapes of consciousness" - had a huge impact on the younger generation of American artists: Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky and Robert Motherwell. Matta experimented a lot with materials, textured reliefs and created a number of works written in fluorescent paints. One of the first he introduced the principles of biomorphism into his work, depicting natural organisms as elements of functional technical devices.
At the exhibition in the State Hermitage Museum, more than 60 works are exhibited that provide an opportunity to get acquainted with the unique interpretation of space and to trace the evolution of Roberto Matta’s style.
The curators of the exhibition are Dmitry Ozerkov, Head of the Department of Contemporary Art of the State Hermitage Museum, Ph.D. Oksana Salamatina, Hermitage Fund in the USA.
A scientific illustrated catalog is being prepared for the exhibition, in Russian and English.
The exhibition “Roberto Matta and the Fourth Dimension” was prepared by the State Hermitage’s Department of Contemporary Art as part of the Hermitage 20/21 project, designed to collect, exhibit and study art of the XX-XXI centuries.