1911 b. Nov 11th. in Santiago de Chile, Roberto Antonio Sebastian Matta Echaurren. His parents, Don Roberto Matta Echaurren and Mercedes Yanez, were of Basque, Spanish and French descent. A Chilean, French Painter He worked with many different types of media, including ceramic, photography and video production. He studied architecture at the Pontificia Universidad Catholica de Chile in Santiago.
1933 Left for Paris, obtained his passage by working as a Merchant Seaman. 1933 - 1934 Worked in Paris as an atelier for famed-architect Le Corbusier. Gabriela Mistral invites him to spend time in Portugal. 1934 late; visited Spain, where he met Rafael Alberti, Pedro Naruda and the poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca, who introduced him to Salvador Dali who in turn encouraged Matta to show some of his drawings to Andre Breton. He also met Rene Magritte. 1936 in London he worked with Walter Gropius and Laszla Moholy-Nagy and produced illustrations and articles for Surrealist journals such as Minotaure. Film script dedicated to Federico Garcia Lorca. He later went to Scandinavia where he met the architect Alvar Aalto and then to Russia where he worked on housing design projects. 1937 Introduced to Andre Breton, by Salvador Dali. Officially invited to join the surrealists. Met Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro. 1938 January; exhibits in Exposition Internationale du Surrealisme at the Galerie Beaux-Arts, Paris; organizers Andre Breton, Marcel Duchamp. Sharing apartment with Pedro Naruda. Summer in Brittany working with Gordon Onslow-Ford?. Moved from drawing to oil painting. Painted his Psychological Morphologie; his statement about Surrealism. 1939 Praised in Minotaure by Andre Breton. With his wife, joined surrealists at Chemillieu. Gordon Onslow-Ford?, Andre Breton, Ithell Colquhoun, Esteban Frances, Kay Sage, Yves Tanguy, Jacqueline Breton with her daughter Aube. Went to New York with his wife Anne Alpert Clark at urging of Marcel Duchamp.
Fosters relationships with the young group of American painters Jackson Pollock, Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Motherwell, and Peter Busa later known as the New York School. 1940 first one-man show in 1940 at New York's Julien Levy Gallery. Meets William Baziotes. 1941 spring; Robert Motherwell, Matta and and Bernard Reis's daughter and Matta's wife Anne went to Mexico together for the summer, where Matta introduced Bob to Wolfgang Paalen. Matta then tried to put together a group of young artists who would be daring in their exploration of automatism; enlisting Esteban Frances, Gordon Onslow-Ford?, and Bob. But he wanted more New Yorkers in his group, and he asked Baziote. Max Ernst visited Matta's summer house in Cape Cod. Participated in the School of Paris show at the Pierre Matisse Gallery. That summer he travelled to Taxco, Mexico with his wife, Robert Motherwell and Barbara Reis (the daughter of Surrealist patrons Bernard and Becky Reis) to visit Gordon Onslow-Ford?. 1942 Exhibits at First Papers of Surrealism at Peggy Guggenheim's gallery Art of this Century. Meets Sonja Sekula. 1943 With his wife Anne has dinner with the Arshile Gorky and his wife Agnes. The couples often visited each other - sometimes joined by Isamu Noguchi. Twin sons, Sebastian and Gordon Matta-Clark.(Both of whom became artists). Leaves Anne after the birth and began a relationship with the heiress, Patricia Kane who he later marries. March; contributed to a double issue of Andre Breton's periodical VVV . June; he moved from his and Anne's small apartment on Patchin Place to live in the apartment of Isabelle and Patrick Waldberg while Patrick was overseas working for the Office of War Information. Matta contributed a series of drawings to accompany the poem ''Le jour est un attentat'' by George Duits. Advises Peggy Guggenheim to exhibit Pollock and Motherwell. "This Century's Spring Salon of Younger Artists" at Peggy Guggenheim's Art of the Century Gallery. 1944 March; Matta leaves Julien Levy for Pierre Matisse. April; "Five American Painters" appears in Harper's Bazaar. Gorky's wife Agnes Magruder noted that they would be leaving soon for Virginia and that Margaret Osborn was going to sublease their Union Square studio. In another letter, dated May 5th, she told Reynal that she had visited Matta in his studio ("on the lure he would give me Breton's novel Nadja - which he did") and that Matta had shown her some of his erotic drawings. ("He becomes more & more like a spoiled boy who wants to masquerade as de Sade"). Matta did the Vagina Dentata cover for VVV. Provides frontispiece and etchings for Andre Breton - Arcane 17. 1945 at the end November; Matta and his new wife Patricia Kane organize a farewell dinner for Andre Breton. Among those attending Arshile Gorky, Max Ernst, Frederick Kiesler and Marcel Duchamp. They played the Surrealist game of Truth ("Le jeu de la veritee") after dinner and Agnes was asked "What part of a woman's body do you kiss attentively when you go to bed with her?" She answered, "It's never happened. I don't understand the question." Everybody laughed and Breton said she was either telling the truth or she was lying and if she was lying she could have thought up a more interesting answer. When the bill came for the dinner Matta and Patricia disappeared and the diners had to pay for their meals themselves. (Their disappearance was considered a Surrealist action - at least by Matta.) Gorky's wife, Agnes, later wrote to Jeanne Reynal "We were all suddenly asked to pay the bill - Andre was in a rage from start to finish but I began to think they just love to be outraged". 1947 Provides original artwork for the catalogue of Le Surrealisme en 1947 or Please Touch at Galerie Maeght, Paris. Summer; first solo exhibition in France takes place at the Galerie Rene Drouin in Paris. 1948 June 17th; Agnes Magruder has a secret rendezvous with Matta. He returned to Paris only to discover that his Surrealist friends had exiled him because of his affair with Arshile Gorky's wife. They blamed him for Gorky's suicide and would not let him rejoin their circle. Settled in Rome. Patricia Kane left him for Pierre Matisse.
1953 visited Farley Farm as one of Lee Miller's working guests. 1955 Pablo Echaurren, was born to Matta and Angela Faranda (an Italian Actress). Federica Matta, also later an artist, was born to Matta and Malitte Pope. By 1950's and 60's he had established homes in Rome, Paris, and London. Matta lived in Rome from 1950 to 1954 He divided his life between Europe and South America during the 1950s and 1960s, successfully combining the political and the semi-abstract in epic surreal canvases. Relocated to Paris, where he lived until 1969?, eventually becoming a French citizen. 1956? painted a substantial mural at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) building. Matta looked to his friend and mentor Yves Tanguy. According to Guardian writer Michael McNay, Matta so greatly influenced Motherwell that 30 years later, he called Matta "the most energetic, enthusiastic, poetic, charming, brilliant young artist that I've ever met. 1959 Present in apartment of Joyce Mansour where Andre Breton read de Sade's Testament and Benoit finished by branding his chest SADE. Roberto Matta also branded himself at this event.
1960 birth of a son, Ramuntcho. The addition of clay to Matta's paintings in the early 1960s lent an added dimension to the distortions. 1962? awarded the Marzotto Prize for La Question Djamilla.
He believed that art and poetry can change the lives of people, and was very involved in the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. 1966 presided over the cultural congress in Havana, Cuba. 1968 a keynote speaker at the Havana Cultural Congress, held in Cuba.
==1970's and later==
1970 With his last wife Germana Ferrari he had a daughter, Alisee. 1970-1972? traveled in Chile and Peru at the invitation of Chile's President Allende. Paints Elle Loge La Folie. 1975? Exhibits in the travelling exhibition "el gran Burundan-Burunda ha muerto" in support of the Russell Tribunal about crimes by the Military Junta in Chile. Exhibitiion inaugorated in Mexico city Museo de Arte Moderno. 1976 son John Sebastian fell from the window of his brothers studio. 1978? son Gordon Matta-Clark died of pancreatic cancer. 1982 visits Nicaragua. 1990? Presidente Patricio Alwyn Azacar, of Chile awards him el Premio Nacional de Arte Suele. 2002? d. November 23rd. in Civitavecchia, Italy He was a strong supporter of the socialist government of president Salvador Allende in Chile. A 4x24 meter mural of his entitled The First Goal of the Chilean People, was painted over with 16 coats of paint by the military regime of Augusto Pinochet following their violent overthrow of Salvador Allende in 1973. In 2005 the mural was discovered by local officials. 2008 the mural was completely restored at a cost of $43,000, and is displayed in Santiago at the La Granja city hall. Matta said that he was influenced by Leonardo Da Vinci who encouraged artists to look at a spot on the wall until something appeared through hallucination. work; see also. Obituary Salon; and NYT. See also. See Timeline