The Bachelors Twenty Years Later
Roberto Matta, Chilean, 1911 - 2002
This painting belongs to the “Psychological Morphologies” series, in which Matta sought to discover regions of space hitherto unexplored in the realm of art. It specifically pays homage to Marcel Duchamp’s (American (born France), 1887 - 1968) great allegory of frustrated desire, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) of 1915–23 (Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1952-98-1). Matta admired Duchamp’s explorations of science and eroticism and he gave these themes new energy in an explosion of nebulous vapors that swirl in a vision of primal chaos. In the context of Surrealism, Matta’s lamplike bachelors conjure up the unseen, supernatural entities called “Great Transparents,” conceived by André Breton (French, 1896 - 1966), who was also a Surrealist, as modern mythological beings.