Chilean Artist Matta’s Painting Fetches $5 Million at New York Auction
NEW YORK, USA — “La Revolte des Contraires” (The Revolt of the Opposites), by Chilean surrealist artist Roberto Matta, yesterday sold for US$5 million at Christie’s Latin American art auction in New York.
Painted in Paris in 1944, the painting, an oil on canvas, portrays a surreal landscape with outbursts of color amidst dark wavy lines and polygons of yellow and black.
According to Virgilio Garza, Head of Latin American Art at Christie’s, “It is surrealism through abstraction.”
Garza added that the sale represented “a long overdue recognition for the artist, who is one of the most influential artists of the 20th century”.
The auction included 300 works of art from 16 Latin American countries. The total reached on the night was $23 million, with a number of other artists gaining record amounts for their works.
However, it was Matta’s work that stole the evening, reprenting the fourth highest amount that Latin American art has ever been sold for. He is surpassed by Mexican artists Rufino Tamayo and Frida Kahlo. Tamayo’s paintings “Trovador” and “America” sold for US$7,209,000 and US$6,802,500 at auctions in 2008, and Kahlo’s “Raíces” was sold for US$5,616,000 at a Sotheby’s auction in 2006.
Matta was not the only Chilean artist to feature at the art auction. Claudio Bravo, a Chilean hyper-realist artist, was also included in the auction, with his work “Psalterium” selling for US$1.1 million.
Many of Matta’s other art works are on display at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago.