Lot 17
  • 17

Matta (1912-2002)

150,000 - 200,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Matta
  • Sans Titre

  • dated Chemillieu 39 lower right; also signed twice on the reverse

  • 12 7/8 by 19 5/8 in.
  • (32.7 by 49.8 cm)
graphite and colored pencil on paper


Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York (acquired from the artist)
Acquavella Galleries, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner


Chicago, The Arts Club of Chicago, Matta Echaurren, January 4-29, 1944, no. 1
New York, Acquavella Galleries, Matta Drawings, 1937-1946, October 22-November 21, 1990, p. 26, no. 18, illustrated in color
Caracas, Galería Acquavella, Matta Morfología Psicológica Dibujos, 1937-1948, June 30-July 14, 1991, p. 25, no. 9, illustrated in color
New York, Andre Emmerich, Matta Paintings and Drawings, 1937-1959, February 20-March 20, 1997, p. 36, illustrated in color
La Jolla, California, The Institute of America, Matta, Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture from 1938-1945, May 20-26, 2003, no. 11, illustrated in color
Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Matta on Paper, The John Todd Figi Collection, October 9, 2004-February 6, 2005, illustrated in color on the inside back cover of the exhibition catalogue
London, Whitechapel Gallery, Inner Worlds Outside, April 28-June 25, 2006, no. 8
San Diego, San Diego Museum of Art, Transmission: The Art of Matta and Gordon Matta Clark, August 19-November 19, 2006, p. 98

Catalogue Note

On the eve of the Second World War, a group of the surrealists including the poet André Breton and the artists Yves Tanguy, Kay Sage, Gordon Onslow-Ford, Esteban Frances, Matta, and his American wife Ann Clark spent the summer of 1939 in the French town of Chemillieu where Gertrude Stein had rented a house nearby.


The summer at Chateau de Chemilleu was a magical one as the house became a hot bed of activities, poetry, painting, and the creation of cadaver esquis. In the world outside, Hitler invaded Poland. But here all of the artists were free to focus on their artistic and intellectual pursuits, working in a harmonious atmosphere, each in their different rooms set up as ateliers in the Chateau. They would not spend another summer in France together as a group.


Upon his return to Paris, Matta stayed with Pablo Neruda at la Roche-Guyon.  By October, fearing reprisals from the Nazis as they had signed anti-Nazis manifestos, Tanguy and Matta left by boat for New York, with Onslow Ford following six months later.