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Tentation sans Visage (Temptation without a Face)

Matta, Roberto Sebastian

Tentation sans Visage (Temptation without a Face)

oil on canvas

1984 Gift of Howard F. & Isabel A. Baer

Roberto Matta, a native of Chile, began his career in Paris in 1938 as a student of architecture. He soon abandoned the formal discipline of architecture to pursue art. He produced drawings inspired by his association with Surrealist artists Salvador Dali and Andre Breton. During World War II, Matta went to New York where his creativity was nourished by the American Abstract Expressionists and European Modernists. He became a leader in the use of automatism as an innovative method for the subconscious flow of thoughts and promoted its use in art. New York artists such as Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock and Arshile Gorky met regularly at Matta's home during the winter of 1941.

"Tentation Sans Visage" reveals Matta's lingering interest in architecture with planes that intersect and invite the viewer into its dream-like spaces. Surreal anthropoid structures appear to float in areas of jewel-like color.