Roberto Matta Echaurren.
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November 2000

Homage to the late Chilean painter:
Our Matta

Even though he only lived in Chile until the 30s and became, with no doubt, a citizen of the world, Roberto Matta traveled a unique and profound road in search of his roots. In just a few sentences we can see his peculiar view about the importance of our identity.

At 22, Matt boarded a ship that got him to the English port of Liverpool. Then he started a trip that took him first to Madrid, then to France, where he lived for a long time. In 1938 he participated in the mythical Surrealism Exhibit. After the Second World War he established in New York before going back to France. The Italian city of Traquinia was his definite home since the end of the 80s. There, in his old house, he passed away on November 23rd, at 91 years of age.

The universality of his figure and art, characterized by a vision that seemed to have no parameters but that were anchored in his deep search for the roots and his beliefs about origins and identity.

About the necessary act of taking root with one's own land he said he believed in the contact with the Earth. "You have to invent a suitcase to carry your roots. One has been so many things in life and then forgets of what it was".

About the paradoxical meaning of "originality", he said, "I look for what is related to the origins. What's new doesn't interest me. What I do care about are roots. All my work is linked to that".

He had a real interest in Chilean popular culture. "I think that if I had lived in Chile, I would have collected popular refrains. I like to warp on language".

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