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Spring Online Edition, May 14 - 28, 2021

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Sims Reed Gallery

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Our online exhibition celebrates the connections between the two Hispanic artists Eduardo Chillida (1924 – 2002) and Roberto Matta (1911 – 2002), and how they were inspired by one of the leading artists of Modern Art, Joan Miró (1893 – 1983). Seeing these artists’ work through the lens of Joan Miró as a source of inspiration offers a new perspective onto how their practice developed.

 

Chillida first met Miró in Paris, when they and their respective wives (coincidentally both named Pilar) were staying in the same hotel. Their friendship would blossom over the years and they would spend holidays in Saint-Paul de Vence together with their families – they would work together and develop mutual respect for each other. Chillida regarded Miró as a revolutionary in his art and as a champion of causes that he believed in. In 1970s, Chillida gained Miró’s support over his controversial sculpture Lugar de Encuentros III. Their families still remain in contact even today.

 

Chillida discovered the importance of the inner space generated by the concave curve – a space that reveals itself and acquires its own identity by way of the inner tension created by the material. While the convex cave – the exterior of the curve – dominated Miró’s work, it was the concave curve that most characterised Chillida’s own: the interior space, the remaining space.

 

Roberto Matta’s artistic influences would later permeate his paintings and prints. Having arrived in Paris in 1934, his work as a draughtsman in the office of Le Corbusier, where his originality and imagination were said to have startled his employer, had a lasting impact on his artistic expression. His ever-growing presence in Paris simultaneously determined his inclusion in the Surrealist group with close ties both artistically and in his friendships with fellow Hispanic artists, including Joan Miró, who influenced his pictorial language and many of the themes in his work. Like Miró, Matta championed an automatic form of Surrealism, creating work through the unplanned gestures of his brush, which moved faster than his mind could think.

 

In 1947 Roberto Matta, Nemesio Antúnez, Joan Miró and José Luis Cuevas coincided in the Atelier 17 studio in New York, led by Stanley W. Hayter, a printmaker who foreshadowed modern artistic reproduction techniques. The artists who gathered in this workshop created the modern print, using ancient techniques adapted to the new needs created by Cubism and Surrealism. Here, the four artists shared a common experience: the creative act of transforming metal sheeting, lithographic stone, xylographic wood, paper and ink in an alchemy that produced their famous prints.

Image:

Joan Miró. Les Perséides: Plate III. Lithograph, 1970.

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“Miró was a fantastic person, his work inspires an unusual feeling. Everyone has always noticed him because of colour, but I look at the drawings of Miró. The drawings are very important, all the curved lines were always convex, never concave. This was an important problem: I drew concave lines and his were convex. He changed my way of looking at the line and space.” - Eduardo Chillida (quoted in Sculpture Magazine, November 1997, vol. 16, no. 9)

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Mastering Freedom: Joan Miró, Roberto Matta and Eduardo Chillida

Joan Miró

Trace sur la Paroi: I

1967

74 x 104.8 cm

Etching and aquatint printed in colours.

Signed in pencil, numbered from the edition of 75. Printed on Mandeure rag paper by Arte Adrien Maeght, Paris. Published by Maeght editeur, Paris. (Dupin 440)

Roberto Matta

Figure I

1968

76 x 56.5 cm

Etching with aquatint printed in colours.

Signed in pencil, an artist's proof aside from the numbered edition of 95. Printed on Arches wove paper by Atelier Georges Visat, Paris. Published by Editions L'Oeuvre Gravée, Bern. Plate: 54.7 x 35 cm. (Sabatier 199).

Eduardo Chillida

Ecarts

1961

50.5 x 65.5 cm

Etching

Signed in pencil, numbered from the edition of 50. Printed by Atelier Maeght, Levallois. Published by Maeght, Paris. (Koelen 61002)

Joan Miró

Le Courtisan Grotesque: Plate X

1974

41.3 x 57.7 cm

Etching with aquatint printed in colours.

From 'Le Courtisan Grotesque'. Signed in pencil, numbered from the edition of 12 on Japan paper. Printed by Atelier Lacourière and Frélaut, Paris. Published by Iliazd, Le Degré 41, Paris. (Dupin 670; Cramer Books 182)

Roberto Matta. L'Helicoptère. Etching with aquatint, 1962.

Roberto Matta

L'Helicoptère

1962

49.9 x 65 cm

Etching with aquatint printed in colours.

Plate 1 from 'Scènes familières'. Signed in pencil, from the edition of 50. Printed on Arches wove paper by Atelier Georges Visat, Paris. Published by Editions Galerie Le Point Cardinal, Paris. Plate: 33.6 x 43.3 cm. (Sabatier 86)

Eduardo Chillida. Harvard III. Woodcut, 1977.

Joan Miró

Trace sur la Paroi: I

74 x 104.8 cm

Etching and aquatint printed in colours.

Signed in pencil, numbered from the edition of 75. Printed on Mandeure rag paper by Arte Adrien Maeght, Paris. Published by Maeght editeur, Paris. (Dupin 440)

Roberto Matta

Figure I

76 x 56.5 cm

Etching with aquatint printed in colours.

Signed in pencil, an artist's proof aside from the numbered edition of 95. Printed on Arches wove paper by Atelier Georges Visat, Paris. Published by Editions L'Oeuvre Gravée, Bern. Plate: 54.7 x 35 cm. (Sabatier 199).

Eduardo Chillida

Ecarts

50.5 x 65.5 cm

Etching

Signed in pencil, numbered from the edition of 50. Printed by Atelier Maeght, Levallois. Published by Maeght, Paris. (Koelen 61002)

Joan Miró

Le Courtisan Grotesque: Plate X

41.3 x 57.7 cm

Etching with aquatint printed in colours.

From 'Le Courtisan Grotesque'. Signed in pencil, numbered from the edition of 12 on Japan paper. Printed by Atelier Lacourière and Frélaut, Paris. Published by Iliazd, Le Degré 41, Paris. (Dupin 670; Cramer Books 182)

Roberto Matta

L'Helicoptère

49.9 x 65 cm

Etching with aquatint printed in colours.

Plate 1 from 'Scènes familières'. Signed in pencil, from the edition of 50. Printed on Arches wove paper by Atelier Georges Visat, Paris. Published by Editions Galerie Le Point Cardinal, Paris. Plate: 33.6 x 43.3 cm. (Sabatier 86)