Renowned Chilean painter, Matilde Pérez, honored at London fair

Pérez continues to paint at the age of 95, carrying on the unique tradition of kinetic art.

Matilde Pérez, a Chilean artist and precursor to geometric art in Latin America, has been honored recently at the Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art Show (Pinta Fair) in London.
The British exhibit featured Pérez’s work alongside other Latin American artists, both famous and obscure, between June 7 and 10. The organizers called Pérez “a pioneer in her native country of the exploration of interaction with the viewer in kinetic art.”
Pérez is widely recognized as the main exponent of kinetic art in Chile, but she began her career as a figurative painter. Seeing the work of Victor Vasarely in France early in life radically modified her painting, which went on to focus on the visual effects of abstract, colored shapes.
Within this tendency, her work has been recognized for the urgent, meticulous investigation she applies to her spaces, lines and materials, and for the formal cleanliness of her pieces. Her work stands out for its solid structures, her rigor in composition and the rational control of color and lines.
Through the use of very precise optical illusions, her works seem to move and undulate, tricking the eye of the audience.
A Precocious Artist
Matile remembers how when she was only five years old, she decided she would be a painter. “What I never understood was why,” she told Portal del Arte. “I didn’t have anyone in my family who talked to me about art, or who inculcated any of those inclinations.”
Time went by until she turned 18, which was when she asked her friends from school over for some tea, to bid them goodbye.
“I told them to stop counting me in,” she said. “Not because I didn’t want to be with them, but because I was going to dedicate my life to painting and I couldn’t be distracted with other matters.”
She first studied painting with Pedro Reszka, and later went on to study at Bellas Artes, where she remained for five years – from dawn to dusk, she says.
“Since then, I never left Bellas Artes,” Pérez said. “I was a teacher’s assistant, then a professor, then I married my drawing professor. Since that time my life has revolved exclusively around art.”
Matilde Pérez is considered one of Chile’s most important painters to this day. To learn more about Pérez and her work, visit
The 95-year-old artist will be showing samples of her work from the Open Cube series at Chile’s Feria Ch.ACO in September 2012.