Roberto Matta, ‘Design for Cover of VVV Magazine’, 1942, Mark Borghi Fine Art

VVV was a magazine devoted to the dissemination of Surrealism published in New York City from 1942 through 1944.
Only four issues of VVV were published (the second and third issues were printed as a single volume). However, it provided an outlet for European Surrealist artists, who were displaced from their home countries by World War II, to communicate with American artists.
VVV was the product of leading Surrealists. The magazine was edited by David Hare in collaboration with Marcel Duchamp, André Breton, and Max Ernst. VVV’s editorial board also enlisted a number of associated thinkers and artists, including Aimé Césaire, Philip Lamantia, and Robert Motherwell. Each edition focused on “poetry, plastic arts, anthropology, sociology, (and) psychology,” and was lavishly illustrated by Surrealist artists, including Giorgio de Chirico, Roberto Matta and Yves Tanguy.
The magazine was experimental in format, as well as, in content. VVV included fold-out pages, sheets of different sizes and paper stock, and bold typography and color. The second magazine (which included issues two and three) featured a “readymade” by Duchamp as the back cover which was a cutout female figure “imprisoned” by a piece of actual chicken wire.

Gift from the artist to Joseph Cornell
Elizabeth Benton, West Hampton, by descent
Gift from the above to the present owner, 1976
The Bergman Collection

About Roberto Matta

Like Salvador Dalí’s The Persistence of Memory (1931), Crucifiction (1938) by Chilean painter Roberto Matta is considered a Surrealist masterpiece. Indeed, Matta was heavily influenced by Dalí and Yves Tanguy, and became an important figure in the evolution of Surrealism, painting dreamlike, internal "inscapes" early on and, later, intense compositions reflecting the psychic damage caused by Europe’s ongoing wars. Shifting biomorphic shapes painted or drawn in vivid colors populated Matta’s often-apocalyptic scenes, conveying confusion and angst. Additionally, Matta's style and willing exploration of the Surrealist philosophy of "automatic composition" heavily influenced the development of the Abstract Expressionist school’s exploration of Action painting.

Chilean, 1911-2002, Santiago, Chile, based in New York, Rome and Chile