Surreal: odd, fantastical, irrational, like a dream. Such is the quality of mystery that permeates Glimmer of Violence (cover). Roberto Antonio Sebastián Matta (Echaurren)'s (1911-2002) mid-century paintings depict “social morphology,” a derivative of his signature style, the self-termed “psychological morphology.” This aesthetic represents the concern that Matta harbored for his fellow humans, enmeshed in his search for expression of the inner workings of the mind. The artist, born in Chile, received his early education in the Jesuit system; he progressed to the study of architecture at the Universita Católica in Santiago. Moving to Paris in 1930, Matta joined the design studio of International Style maven Le Corbusier, but Matta soon switched his focus to painting. Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, René Magritte, and Joan Miró, among others, comprised the Parisian Surrealist clique. Bound together by the tenets of writer André Breton's Manifeste du Surréalisme, the circle absorbed the Latin American expatriate; the Surrealists included Matta in their 1938 Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme. When the specters of Nazism and Facism threatened the European artistic community, Matta moved to New York.
Torpy JM. Glimmer of Violence. JAMA. 2010;304(16):1753. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1331