Packed with light and colour, the strange, toxic coloured dream image in Matta's Untitled shows his visual power at the crucial opening of his experience of Surrealism. Executed in 1937, Untitled dates from a period when the only art that Matta was producing were these vivid crayon drawings. He was still associated with Le Corbusier and his projects then, and yet Untitled shows an intense contrast to the control of Le Corbusier's thinking and aesthetic.
It was the sight of drawings like Untitled, which adorned the walls of Matta's apartment in Paris, that led Gordon Onslow Ford to encourage him to take them seriously and to show them. Matta claimed not to have thought that anyone would be interested in such things, and yet, spurred somewhat reluctantly on by the enthusiasm of Onslow Ford, and then also of Dalí, he took a group of these pictures to show André Breton, the 'Pope' of Surrealism. Talking of his first encounter with the Surrealists, Matta recalled: 'I was so ignorant, so uninteresting to them. Then they saw my drawings and said to me: You are a Surrealist! I didn't even know what this meant' (Matta, quoted in exh. cat., Matta, Paris, 1985, p. 267). This marked the true beginning of Matta's career as an artist, and indeed as a personality, for some time the darling of the Surrealists, and then one of their most vociferous outcasts.
In Untitled, one can see already the energy, but also the unique quality of his visual imagination. To an extent, this work appears to show already apparent the template of the visual idiom that would mark much of Matta's work for the rest of his career. However, the medium, with the furiously and laboriously applied crayons in their different colours, has little to do with the strange and gloopy textures that would distinguish much of Matta's work in oils. Instead, there is a fervent energy apparent, as though this drawing was some outlet for the pent-up energy accumulated while working under the rigidity of the Le Corbusian aesthetic, although there is some sense of architectonic structure in the picture's shapes and forms. However, this structure adds a sense of alien geometry to some of the forms, giving them a sense of solidity and indeed credibility, despite their fantastic nature. Although seemingly lacking in logic, Matta has created a work in which a completely different understanding of geometry has entered our world, a landscape, or rather mindscape, in which elements from another dimension, another universe, dance in their vivid luminosity under a multicoloured sky.