CastronautesArtist(s)Roberto MattaArtist NationalityChileanObject Creation Date1965Medium & Supportcolor etching and aquatint on paperDimensions
24 15/16 in x 17 1/2 in (63.34 cm x 44.45 cm);28 3/16 in x 22 3/16 in (71.6 cm x 56.36 cm)Credit LineMuseum PurchaseLabel copy
Matta’s skillful gradation of color, manipulation of the aquatint grain, and control of the biting of the plate produce luminous, almost phosphorescent, tonal passages suggesting a cosmic realm of inchoate matter and unfathomable depths. The whirling lines give the impression of motion and energy. Some of the darker lines were bitten so deeply in the etching process that they embossed the sheet, as is especially noticeable on the verso of the print.
This print was produced in the Atelier Georges Visat, Paris.
Label copy from exhibition "Dreamscapes: The Surrealist Impulse," August 22 - October 25, 1998Subject matter
In this print, the Chilean artist presented a kind of Surrealist celestial scene but with a political slant. Matta was engaged in Latin American politics, for example supporting the Cuban revolutionaries. During the 1960s, he even traveled to the newly-Communist Cuba. In a play on words in the title, Matta combined references to both the Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and the Cold War space race: literally "Castro" plus "astronaut." Castro the astronaut is depicted in a surrealist spacescape. After meeting Salvador Dali and Andre Breton in Paris in the 1930s, Matta joined the Surrealist movement and his work reflected the Freudian subconscious mind.Physical Description
In this print, there is a figure that is formed in the upper right with thick black lines. It floats above abstract circular line designs. There is a blue and purple background, with areas of light behind the figure, darker areas below the figure. The print is signed (l.r.) and numbered (l.l.) "5/100" in pencil.Primary Object ClassificationPrintCollection AreaModern and ContemporaryRights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image
for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.
Abstract (fine arts style)
etching (printing process)
modern and contemporary art