- Roberto Matta
- Les Séparés vivants
(also known as Funfural)
- titled twice and dated Les Separés vivants, 1945-1946 (along the back stretcher bar)
- oil on canvas
- 101,6 x 152,4 cm; 40 x 60 in.
Acquavella Gallery, New York
Private collection (sale: Christie's, New York, 29-29 May 2009, lot 32)
Purchase at the above sale by the current owner
Yokohama, Yokohama Museum of Art, Masson et Matta. Les Deux Univers, 1994, no. 21 (illustrated in color)
The paintings produced at the end of the war, among which Les Séparés vivants is one of the finest, aim to create a new representation of humanity, a "new image of man" that finds its source in primitive art and the psyche. In relation to the Morphologies psychologiques painted at the beginning of the 1940s, the post-war works are characterized by a more incisive line that echoes humanity's suffering and fear. At the same time, Matta's painting shows a new gestural and chromatic freedom, reflecting the artist's aspirations after this somber period. As the press of the time pointed out; "Matta's palpitating harmonies play around these symbolic forms, the lyricism of the tones in total contrast with the terror that emanates from them. These figures are nude and brutal, because he has dissected all anatomy and emotion from them" (in Art News, April 1945). Of flamboyant composition and unprecedented dynamism, Les Séparés vivants inaugurates a new era in Matta's art.