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Knoll Designer Bios

Roberto Matta

b. Italy
1911-2002

Roberto Sebastian Matta, who initially trained as an architect in his native Santiago, is best known as an abstract expressionist and surrealist painter. After completing his studies and moving to Paris, he worked briefly in the studio of famed architect Le Corbusier. His interests soon moved towards painting and he joined the circles of Salvador Dali, André Breton, and René Magritte.

Matta later met Dino Gavina, who invited the painter to design a piece of furniture for Gavina SpA. The resulting Malitte Lounge was a playful collection of polyurethane shapes that could be stacked into a “wall” or used as individual lounge pieces. When Knoll acquired Gavina two years later, the Malitte Lounge was one of the designs chosen to be kept for the Knoll product line. The Malitte Lounge is in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art.