Roberto Matta Malitte Lounge Furniture 1966

  • MoMA, Floor 3, 3 North The Philip Johnson Galleries

Matta was trained as an architect, briefly working in the studio of Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier in Paris. However, Matta’s evolving interest in painting drew him into Surrealist circles. He ventured into furniture design for this collaboration with Italian designer Dino Gavina, bringing with him his architectural knowledge and artistic sensibility. Named after his wife, Malitte Pope, this fanciful design is made up of polyurethane organic shapes that, when stacked, form a sculptural arrangement that serves as a room divider. When deconstructed, it transforms into a versatile set of furniture—a two-seat sofa, three seats, and a footrest.

Gallery label from Crafting Modernity: Design in Latin America, 1940–1980, March 08, 2024 – September 22, 2024
Additional text

Matta se formó como arquitecto, trabajando brevemente en el estudio del arquitecto suizo-francés Le Corbusier en París. Sin embargo, el creciente interés de Matta por la pintura lo atrajo a los círculos surrealistas. Incursionó en el diseño de muebles en esta colaboración con el diseñador italiano Dino Gavina, trayendo consigo sus conocimientos arquitectónicos y sensibilidad artística. Llamada así en honor a su esposa, Malitte Pope, este fantástico diseño está compuesto por formas orgánicas de poliuretano que, cuando se apilan, forman un arreglo escultórico que sirve como separador de ambientes. Cuando se deconstruye, se transforma en un conjunto versátil de muebles: un sofá de dos asientos, tres asientos y un reposapiés.

Gallery label from Crafting Modernity: Design in Latin America, 1940–1980 (en español), March 08, 2024 – September 22, 2024

This colorful collection of polyurethane foam shapes could be stacked into a rectangular wall or used as individual pieces of seating. The design concept is playful and flexible. Its interlocking organic shapes reflect Matta's training as an architect in his native Chile as well as his Surrealist painting practice, which developed after his move to Paris.

Gallery label from From the Collection: 1960-69, March 26, 2016 - March 12, 2017
Gavina, Italy
Wool and polyurethane foam
Overall: 63 x 63 x 25" (160 x 160 x 63.5 cm) .a: 19 1/2 x 63 x 25" (49.5 x 160 x 63.5 cm) .b: 37 x 34 x 25" (94 x 86.4 x 63.5 cm) .c: 47 3/4 x 26 1/4 x 25" (121.3 x 66.7 x 63.5 cm) .d: 32 x 49 1/2 x 25" (81.3 x 125.7 x 63.5 cm) .e: 17 x 25 x 25" (43.2 x 63.5 x 63.5 cm)
Gift of Knoll International
Object number
© 2024 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Architecture and Design

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