Cecilia Ayala, Paris
Mayor Gallery, London
Acquired directly from the above by the present owner
In 1937, while working on the design of the Spanish Republican pavilion at the Paris International Exhibition, Matta saw Picasso’s Guernica, an experience that had a high impact on his work afterwards. Indeed, the two arm-like shapes that culminate in an open mouth in The Adventures of a Biomorphic Couple seem to raise in an act of despair and are strongly reminiscent of the Spaniard’s political statements. Dark lines violently cross the background of the composition imbuing the work with tension and movement. Having trained as an architect - he worked as a draughtsman at Le Corbusier’s studio in Paris for two years - Matta’s work is infused with his ability to depict multi-dimensional spaces, which he then populated with anthropomorphic shapes to create psychologically charged landscapes. During his stay in Paris Matta also became well established within the Surrealists, contributing illustrations for André Breton’s anti-Fascist magazine Minotaure. Upon his arrival in the United States Matta became part of the émigré colony of artists that escaped the terror of the war. Created in the midst of this traumatic experience, The Adventures of a Biomorphic Couple attests to the artist’s ability to convey his apocalyptic visions by means of his designs, visions that serve as powerful commentaries of the history of the Twentieth Century.
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