Thursday, May 12, 2016

Towards the End: Roberto Matta Does Mark Tobey

Roberto Matta (1911-2002) was a surrealist and abstractionist painter from Chile who had a long, successful career, dying age 91. His Wikipedia entry is here.

Around the time he was 80 he painted in a style that reminds me of that of Mark Tobey (1890-1976), who I wrote about here. Matta lived in the USA for most of the 1940s, so it's hard to believe that he was unaware of Tobey's emerging "white writing" style. But it's possible that, 45 years later, he might have forgotten what he had once known.

For what it might be worth, below are some examples of Tobey's work along with some late Matta's that strike be as being similar in style and spirit.


Tobey ...

People - 1945

The New Day - c.1945

Lovers of Light - 1961

Matta ...

L'Ultima Cena - 1985

Cosmos Mental - 1991

The Fall (Autoritratto d'ognuno) - 1991


Mark said...

Don't you usually rail against this kind of art?

Donald Pittenger said...

Mark -- I think abstraction and gross distortions of the modernist variety have been grossly over-sold to the public for many decades. Therefore, I am one of those who is trying to help educate people that what modernists condemned wasn't all that bad.

But that was not my intent here. I was simply pointing out an apparent similarity of treatment, and set other consideration aside.