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Matta, Antúnez, Miró and Cuevas: The Magic of the Workshop

This traveling exhibition brings together the work of four leading twentieth-century engravers: Roberto Matta, Nemesio Antúnez, Joan Miró and José Luis Cuevas.

Matta, Antúnez, Miró and José Luis Cuevas coincided in the Atelier 17 studio

Exhibition completed.

In 1947, Chile’s Roberto Matta and Nemesio Antúnez, Spain’s Joan Miró and Mexico’s 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. This exhibition was originally led by Antúnez, author of this print.

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 the treasure of their famous prints.  

Roberto Matta, an architect, humanist, painter and poet, is considered the last representative of Surrealism and one of the most important artists of the twentieth century.  Joan Miró, a painter and sculptor as well as an engraver, was one of the key figures of the Surrealist movement to which Nemesio Antúnez, who founded the 99 Workshop in Chile, was also close. José Luis Cuevas, a painter, sculptor, illustrator and writer who worked first in Mexico and later in the United States, was part of the Rupture Generation of Mexican artists, who were critical of that country’s muralist tradition.

The first version of the current exhibition was shown in Madrid in 1987 to celebrate the inauguration of the Spanish capital’s Lavapiés Cultural Center. The idea behind the exhibition, led by Antúnez, was to highlight the importance of the workshop as a place which, in the creator’s relation with it, produces a magical result: the print.

On that occasion, the exhibition included the work of Matta and other leading Latin American engravers such as Argentina’s Julio Le Parc, Mexico’s Rufino Tamayo, Chile’s Mario Murúa, Mexico’s Luis Zárate and Spanish-born Chilean José Balmes.

The aim of the Mistralian Route Corporation is to increase awareness of the life and work of Chilean Nobel poet Gabriela Mistral through different artistic and cultural activities such as exhibitions, workshops and conferences as well as through its publications.

In order to keep alive her thought on social and educational matters as well as her poetry, it aims to reach as many places as possible in the region where she was born as well as the country as a whole. The current traveling exhibition, which also includes talks, is supported by the Coquimbo Regional Fund for Culture.