This fine watercolor exemplifies the Surrealist style that Matta created for himself during the summer of 1938 in France in the company of Yves Tanguy, André Breton and others. Like Tanguy and Breton, Matta emigrated to the United States and exhibited with the Surrealists in exile in New York. Although it is impossible to create a single narrative from Matta’s picture, horror of pursuit and fear of capture dominate the scene. During the early 1940s, Matta was very influential among young American artists, especially William Baziotes, Robert Motherwell, and Jackson Pollock.
Inscription: Signed, dated, and Inscribed (lower right): A Eliaminleo Matta 41
the artist (1941–47; gift in 1947 to Castelli); Leo Castelli, New York (1947–60; sold in 1960 to Holland-Goldowsky); [Holland-Goldowsky Gallery, Chicago, 1960–64; sold in January 1964 to Newman]; Muriel Kallis Newman, Chicago (1964–2006; her gift to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "An American Choice: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection," May 21–September 27, 1981, unnumbered cat. (p. 116).
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. "Dada and Surrealism in Chicago Collections," December 1, 1984–January 27, 1985, unnumbered cat. (p. 190).
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. "Matta in America: Paintings and Drawings of the 1940s," July 13–October 20, 2002, unnumbered cat. (p. 51).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Abstract Expressionism and Other Modern Works: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 17, 2007–February 3, 2008, extended to March 2, 2008, no. 13.
Martica Sawin inAbstract Expressionism and Other Modern Works: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Gary Tinterow, Lisa Mintz Messinger, and Nan Rosenthal. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 47–49, no. 13, ill. (color).