Roberto Matta: Matta in the 1950s and 1960s
Pace Gallery, New York
November 6, 2015 – January 9, 2016

The exhibition “Robert Matta: Matta in the 1950s and 1960s” at Pace Gallery (November 6, 2015 – January 9, 2016) featured large-scale oil paintings and drawings on paper by the Chilean artist. Pace staff worked in close collaboration with Matta’s two children, Federica and Ramuntcho, to organize the show. Bark worked with Pace registrars to create frame designs that would present Roberto Matta’s works in their best light.

For Matta’s paintings — some as wide as 117″ across — Bark frame designer Paul Jordan designed brass frames with a custom patina finish. The canvases were floated in the maple frames, which were hand painted on the inner edge to match the patina, making the finish visible from all angles. Bark metal workers rubbed the patina finish very slightly at the edges to achieve a warm gold glint, just visible under the soft, low lighting in the gallery (see the detail shots in Images 3 and 5).

For the smaller graphite and wax crayon works on paper, Jordan employed similar brass frames, glazed with Optium Museum Acrylic. Each work was set off with an appropriate soft white 8-ply mat.

Brass is a wonderful material, and so versatile for framing works that have even a slight warmth to capitalize on.  Due to the simplicity of most of our profiles, the color of the raw and patinated material is pronounced enough to appear elegant and refined, while receding easily in relation to the art.  It has a depth of color, especially when patinated, that is at once black and gold and so instantly natural, yet powerful to the viewer.

Photographs by Jennifer M. Clark