"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) was presented in the White Hall of the General Staff Building of the State Hermitage Museum. The works of one of the last representatives of surrealism, virtually unknown to the Russian public, are on display in Russia for the first time. The exhibition presents 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. Spanish, Basque, and French blood flowed in his veins. 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 to be insufficiently serious, Matta graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at the Catholic University of Santiago. In the 30s, working in the Le Corbusier workshop in Paris, the artist moves closer to the circle of surrealists and actively tries himself in graphics. Andre Breton, who supported the search for a young artist, wrote that “Matt particularly expresses the need for a visual representation of the four-dimensional universe. In his works, nothing more is intentional, everything comes from the desire to plunge into the realm of the divine. "
Brave, thirst for knowledge, openness to new trends in art, deep psychologism and interest in technological progress made Roberto Matta a significant figure in the artistic world. At the same time, he never once finally joined one of the trends in painting: while experimenting at the intersection of art and science, he did not fully become a surrealist. The desire to reformulate the Renaissance perspective with the help of the unconscious and the irrational moved him away from abstract expressionists. Denying the formal framework of styles, Roberto Matta has always tested his art by practicing, trying to understand the depth of human nature. Turning to call himself an artist, Matta said: “I am not an artist. I’m somebody trying
to construct images that will one day help us realize the essence of the verb "to see".
Influenced by the ideas of non-Euclidean geometry, Matta tried to give shape to mental constructions, to create a space beyond the limits of the visible, traditional perspective. After participating in the International Surrealist Exhibition of 1938, thanks in large part to his friendship with English artist Gordon Onslow Ford, Matt began to explore what he called "psychological morphologies." It was Ford who introduced Roberto Matt with the writings of Peter Demianovich Ouspensky, a Russian philosopher and theorist of the “fourth dimension”. Matta shared the idea of Ouspensky that the fourth dimension complements the third with a sense of space, a sense of movement and a sense of time, necessary for the realization of a constant and irreversible process of changing the world, in which every new moment differs from the previous one.
In the book “Tertium Organum” (1912), Ouspensky writes that the mind unconsciously “corrects” what the eye sees in order to compensate for the visual limitation. 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 assumes the special role of the conductor visionary, who “must see that which is inaccessible to others” and “must have the gift of opening his eyes to others that they do not see for themselves”. Often, to explain his arguments, Ouspensky painted 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, since the beginning of World War II, Roberto Matta emigrated to the United States. At about the same time, his work began in the art of oil painting. He arrived in New York in 1939, and a year later, his first transatlantic exhibition took place in the gallery of Julian Levy.
Over time, Matta in his work began to monumentalism. His giant five-meter canvases - "landscapes of consciousness" - had a huge impact on the younger generation of American artists: Jackson Pollock, Arshil Gorki and Robert Motherwell. Matta experimented a lot with materials, texture reliefs and created a number of works written in fluorescent colors. He was one of the first to introduce the principles of biomorphism into his work, depicting natural organisms as elements of functional technical devices.
The exhibition in the State Hermitage exhibits more than 60 works, giving the opportunity to get acquainted with the unique interpretation of space and trace the evolution of Roberto Matt’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 Foundation in the USA.
A scientific illustrated catalog is being prepared for the exhibition, in Russian and English.
The Roberto Matta and the Fourth Dimension exhibition was prepared by the Department of Contemporary Art of the State Hermitage Museum as part of the Hermitage 20/21 project, designed to collect, exhibit and study the art of the XX-XXI centuries.