The Vertigo of Eros

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7bcace2b85ff374e16a41576de5cd01e1 Roberto Matta-The Vertigo of Eros 1944

In the late thirties the Chilean Surrealist artist Roberto Matta painted a series of large canvases that he called inscapes: imaginary landscapes that were a projection of the internal psyche. Using the techniques of surrealist automatism and displaying his interest in non-Euclidean geometry Matta’s inscapes are vast, visionary cosmic dramas.

Along with many other Surrealists he emigrated to the United States in 1939 to escape WWII and would live there until 1948. While in New York he would, along with  his fellow Surrealist Arshile Gorky (see Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia) influence an emerging generation of young American artists, the Abstract Expressionists, including the pioneers Robert Motherwell and Jackson Pollack. Matta would be expelled from the Surrealists due to his affair with Gorky’s wife, which the Surrealist believed contributed to Gorky’s tragic suicide.

The cosmic dimension of Matta’s painting evokes certain elements of science…

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