War Cartoon

$120,000.00 (as of January 15, 2019, 8:07 pm)

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Original Drawing by Roberto Matta. Roberto Matta’s exile in New York during the chaotic and destructive years of World War II marked a seminal shift in the art world of the twentieth century. While Matta’s paintings from his tenure in America were widely admired, it was the artist’s drawings from this period that rang especially provocative. According to Motherwell, they are “among the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful work made in New York at the time.” War Cartoon (1945) belongs to this extraordinary group of drawings, produced under the dispiriting conditions of world war and the vibrant energy of intercultural artistic exchange. The work, one of at least three meditations on the theme, is an amalgamation of the Surrealist technique of automatism and Matta’s idiosyncratic dechain√© [frenzied] style of drawing championed by his young American colleagues. In War Cartoon, Matta has employed the technique to dissonantly fuse anthropomorphic bodies into violent, yet erotic, creatures of destruction and rebirth.

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