Considered one of the main surrealists, Joan Miró was a pioneer in the spontaneous drawing method that tried to express the inner workings of the human mind. His works were full of color and shape and abstract elements like birds, eyes and the moon. Currently, Miró's works are breaking records at auction, an example of which was the painting “ Woman in a Red Hat ” which was sold at Sotheby's for around 24.5 million euros. In addition, his sculptures and public murals can be found in cities around the world, including Milan, Paris and Barcelona. It is also possible to see his pieces in the collections of various institutions around the world, such as the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art, among others.
Who was Joan Miró?
The surrealist painter Joan Miró was born in Barcelona, in 1893. From an early age he showed interest in the visual arts, since at the age of seven he was already attending painting classes. Early in his career, he was influenced by movements such as Fauvism and Dada, creating landscape paintings with intense brushstrokes, portraits and still lifes. An example of this is the work “ Portrait of Enric Cristòfol Ricart ” (1917) which shows the influences of Van Gogh, Rousseau and Pablo Picasso.
“Portrait of Enric Cristòfol Ricart” (1917)
However, after the first exhibition in 1918, his compositions became increasingly direct and clear with a greater interest in line, form and structure. In 1920, he visited Paris, where he lived with avant-garde artists who inspired him in semi-realist and semi-cubist representations, as can be seen in the painting “ The Farm” (1921). He continued to meticulously paint the objects, while planning the linear space of the composition with geometric shapes and stretching of pigments.
"The Farm" (1921)
Joan Miró and Surrealism
In 1924, the French poet André Breton wrote the Manifesto of Surrealism, thus cementing one of the most important movements of the 20th century. In this manifesto, the poet claimed some of the main avant-garde artists of the period, including the name Joan Miró. Between 1924 and 1927, while sharing the studio with André Masson and Max Ernst, he created a series of works he called painting-poetry, which consisted of words and inkblots, as in the painting “ Le corps de ma brune…” (1925).
“ Le corps de ma brune…” (1925)
In the dangerous and catastrophic climate of World War II, Joan Miró created the Constellations, a series of twenty-three paper gouaches, distinguished by their distinct visual vocabulary about the cosmic and the terrestrial. About this series the artist mentioned:
" I had always enjoyed looking out the windows at night and seeing the sky and the stars and the moon, but now we weren't allowed to do this any more, so I painted the windows blue and I took my brushes and paint, and that was the beginning of the Constellations ."
These paintings, with shapes that move in a smoky backdrop, establish a relationship with the birds that fly over bombardments during the war. In the complexity of these works, the artist's desire to escape and escape the horrors of war is expressed.
"The Beautiful Bird Deciphering the Unknown to a Couple of Lovers " (1941)
After the war, he temporarily settled in Majorca and gained international recognition by continuing to experiment with new means of production, which reached the general public such as ceramics, engraving, book illustration and sculpture. In 1954, he won the Grand Prix of Engraving at the Venice Biennale and in 1964, the Maeght Foundation was created in his honor in Saint-Paul-de-Vence.
In 1977, he painted “O Jardim”, a work in which we found several species of surrealist birds and flowers with a blue sky in the background and a star above the birds. From these intensely colored figures that emerge from a fantasy world, practically all the characteristics present in all of his works are identified. At the end of his life, his works began to be reduced to elements such as dots and lines, and began to use basically black and white. Up to the date of her death, on December 25, 1983, Joan Miró worked exhaustively. Discover the works of the fantastic Joan Miró on the P55.
“The Garden” (1977)