Welcome to the opening on Saturday 25 January
12.00 - 17.00
The gallery is also open on Sunday 26 January 13.00 - 16.00
The exhibition is on until 8 March 2003
heart is an eye, writes Nobel laureate Octavio Paz in an essay
on Mattas paintings. Matta creates a world coloured both by
a sunny faith in the future and by visions of impending doom.
Sebastian Echaurren Antonio Matta, who died aged 91 on 23 November
2002, was born in Santiago, Chile, on 11 November 1911 into a family
with Spanish, French and Basque roots, and raised in an atmosphere
of religiosity. By the age of 21 he had graduated and begun work as
an architect, but his leisure time he devoted to sketching and painting.
In 1933 he travelled to Europe for the first time, visiting Greece,
Yugoslavia, Italy and other countries, and subsequently taking the
initiative to collaborate with the architect, Le Corbusier. As time
passed, however, Mattas enthusiasm for a career in architecture
waned, and he began to devote himself full-time to art, making early
acquaintances with surrealists such as Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí,
André Breton and others.
1939 and 1948 Matta, like many of his artistic contemporaries, lived
in self-imposed exile in the USA, but, after almost 10 years
absence from Europe, he returned to make first Rome and then, a few
years later, Paris his home. Throughout most of the rest of his life
Matta commuted between his studio in Paris and his creative refuge
in the monastery outside Rome. And it is here, in Italy, that he produced
his greatest paintings.
first retrospective in Sweden was organised in 1956 when his works
were exhibited in what was then Galerie Colibri run by, among
others, the artist C O Hultén at number 36 Södra Förstadsgatan
in Malmö, Sweden. This was also the time when Matta began to
collaborate with poets and other artists in Sweden. He produced the
illustrations for Lasse Söderbergs first anthology of poems,
Akrobaterna (The Acrobats), published in 1955, and was
also responsible for the cover of the Swedish art and literary magazine
1959 the first museum exhibition of Mattas work in Europe was
arranged at the Museum of Modern Art (Moderna Museet) in Stockholm.
Held under the aegis of Pontus Hultén, it was entitled Fifteen
Forms of Doubt and included 15 or so gigantic paintings and
about 3 dozen drawings. Today Matta is represented in virtually all
Bergström first contacted Matta in Paris in 1976, visiting him
in his studio there and later at his home in Rome. The outcome of
the meetings was an exhibition at Galleri Kända Målare
in Jönköping, Sweden, later the same year. In 1988 several
of Mattas works were shown at Galleri GKM in Malmö, and
in conjunction with this exhibition the gallery published a book on
Matta with texts by Octavio Paz, including the prose poem The
Heart is an Eye. The book also contains contributions by Lasse
Söderberg, Ingemar Leckius and text fragments penned by Matta
himself, one of which is his prose poem The Earth is a Man.
the autumn of 1991 Galleri GKM organised a second Matta exhibition
at which five omnibus volumes of engravings were shown in their entirety
for the very first time.
ambiguity of Mattas motifs owes much to the fact that the multiplicity
of their abstraction is occasionally tempered by an exactness reminiscent
of the unerring precision of satellite photographs.
paintings are often peopled by hybrid figures half-human, half-alien
and harbour an explosive power a volcanic energy and
forward momentum that possesses the ability to engender simultaneous
sensations of both delight and despair.
is the true surrealist who passionately portrays an inner and external
reality. He himself explained that he wanted to capture the invisible,
the intangible. Drastic visions of the future melt into memories of
the past. Great chunks of colour, black as night, are mixed with moss
greens and luminous palettes of lemon yellow, as melancholy and the
malignantly destructive are married on his canvases with more idyllic
impulses and impressions that celebrate the wonder of life. The result
is paintings that embody both a sense of joy and a vision of fear.
8 januari 2003
Stora Nygatan 30, SE-211 37
Phone +46(0)40-611 99 11, Fax +46(0)40-611 85 45