Gestural marks and abstract forms characterize this untitled composition by Matta. They exemplify the artist’s application of "automatic" techniques associated with Surrealism, to which he was introduced by André Breton, the founder of the movement in Paris. Here, two upright, hybrid figures appear to confront, even antagonize, one another in amid a tense field punctuated with blunt passages of hot yellow and bright red. Reinterpreted by younger American artists in 1940s New York, including Jackson Pollock, Matta’s brand of biomorphic abstraction contributed to the foundation of what became known as Abstract Expressionism.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): matta 49
Emily Genauer Gash, New York (by 1975–94; her gift to MMA)
New York. Andrew Crispo Gallery. "Matta: A Totemic World," January 11–February 15, 1975, no. 10.