A great exponent of international surrealism, Sebastian Matta was born in Santiago de Chile in 1911. After studying architecture, in 1934 he moved to Paris where he devoted himself to painting.
He worked with Le Corbusier, and made contact in Madrid with Spanish intellectuals, including the poets Rafael Alberti and Federico Garcia Lorca. In 1936he moved to London where he also met the British sculptor Henry Moore.
In Paris he met Salvador Dalì and in 1938 he began to adhere to surrealism, performing a painting attentive to the dreamlike, unconscious, excited dimension. He then began to participate in important events such as the International Exposition of Surrealism at the Gallery of Fine Arts in Paris. He made his first surrealist oils.
At the outbreak of the Second World War he fled to New York with Yves Tanguy. Here he had contacts with the other Surrealists, with the Dadaists and exerted a strong influence on many young artists, including Pollock, Rothko and Gorky.