- Roberto Matta
- signed Matta and dated 37 (lower left)
- gouache on paper
- 50.2 by 32.7cm.
- 19 3/4 by 12 7/8 in.
Richard Feigen Gallery, New York
Feigen Palmer Gallery, Los Angeles
Julian Levy, New York
Private Collection, New York
Sale: Christie's, New York, 24th November 1998, lot 32
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Santiago de Chile, Fundación Telefónica Sala de Arte, Retrospectiva de Roberto Matta, 2000
Rio de Janeiro, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Surrealismo, 2001, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Azul dates from 1937, the year he joined the Surrealist group. Composed of biomorphic elements, executed primarily in a rich, deep blue heightened with white, this composition evokes the work Matta would continue to develop in the years to come both in oil and on paper. Along with many other Surrealists, Matta moved to New York at the outbreak of World War II. First exhibiting with the Julien Levy Gallery and later at Pierre Matisse, Matta burst onto the New York scene with the same energy he had brought to Europe. Julien Levy describes their first meeting: ‘He appeared in my gallery confident, exuberant, and mercurial and produced a portfolio of explosive crayon drawings, vowing he would complete enough canvases for an exhibition in the next two months if I were interested. At first glance the drawings were winning though incomprehensible. Matta seemed to have a powerful obsession with space and could make it vast and inhuman […]. Translating his perspective into limitless voids past the horizon and beyond the vanishing point, Matta seems to have arrived at his own strange outer world’ (J. Levy, Memoir of an Art Gallery, New York, 1977, p. 247).