Francisco Matto - Works 1944-1992
This 1993 exhibition, encompassing nearly fifty years of Matto's paintings, wood reliefs and sculpture, was the inaugural show of the Cecilia de Torres Gallery.
The invitation noted:
Francisco Matto's work is a subtle fusion of Indoamerican art and geometric abstraction. "Magic", he asserts, "is the most worthwhile element in this world."
His wood constructions, like Circular Structure (1968), retain references to the natural world and to spiritual and even magical powers within a structured geometric format. He deliberately chooses to leave the texture of the rough wood bare or lightly painted. He treats symbols as a means to achieve a ritual function beyond mere aesthetics.
b. 1911, Montevideo, Uruguay - d. 1995, Montevideo, Uruguay
A founding member of the Taller Torres-García, Matto had studied painting as a child before meeting the atelier's founder in 1939. Following this encounter and encouraged by the creative environment at the Taller, Matto's artistic production shifted from his early Surrealist-influenced work to paintings and sculptures with markedly orthogonal compositions; these works were often executed on humble material supports such as cardboard and found wood pieces. At the age of 21, Matto traveled to Tierra del Fuego and acquired the first Pre-Columbian pieces of what was to become a major collection and an important influence on his art.
In addition to his paintings, drawings, and sculptures, Matto also executed large-scale murals, major outdoor sculptural installations, and conceived an unrealized plan for an artists' community.
His work has been exhibited at the Sálon des Surindépendants, Paris; the Stedelijk Museum, Netherlands; and in Spain, Italy, Germay, Moscow, Tokyo, New York, and throughout Latin America. Matto's monumental concrete sculptures are landmarks in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
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