Joan Miro

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Born to the families of a goldsmith and watchmaker, the young Joan Miro was drawn towards the arts community that was gathering in Montparnasse and in 1920 moved to Paris. There, under the influence of the poets and writers, he developed his unique style: organic forms and flattened picture planes drawn with a sharp line. Generally thought of as a Surrealist because of his interest in automatism and the use of sexual symbols (for example, ovoids with wavy lines emanating from them), Joan Miro’s style was influenced in varying degrees by Surrealism and Dada, yet he rejected membership to any artistic movement in the interwar European years. André Breton, the founder of Surrealism, described him as "the most Surrealist of us all." Joan Miro confessed to creating one of his most famous works, Harlequin's Carnival, under similar circumstances:

"How did I think up my drawings and my ideas for painting? Well I'd come home to my Paris studio in Rue Blomet at night, I'd go to bed, and sometimes I hadn't any supper. I saw things, and I jotted them down in a notebook. I saw shapes on the ceiling..." Joan Miró was originally part of the Generation of '27, a collective made up of Spanish poets, writers, painters and film makers that included Luis Buñuel, Miguel Hernández, José María Hinojosa and García Lorca. The latter three were murdered by Franco during Spain's fascist reign. Buñuel and a few other artists were able to flee for France and the US. Miró was among these exiles. It is also important to note that Miró's surrealist origins evolved out of "repression" much like all Spanish surrealist and majic realist work. Also, Joan Miró was well aware of Haitian Voodoo art and Cuban Santería religion through his travels before going into exile. This led to his signature style of art making. You can find out more, there are many books written about this subject! See Amazon the bottom of this page!

His Career

In 1926, he collaborated with Max Ernst on designs for Sergei Diaghilev. With Miró's help, Ernst pioneered the technique of grattage, in which he troweled pigment onto his canvases. Miró married Pilar Juncosa in Palma de Mallorca on October 12, 1929; their daughter Dolores was born July 17, 1931. Shuzo Takiguchi published the first monograph on Joan Miró in 1940. In 1948–49, although living in Barcelona, Miró made frequent visits to Paris to work on printing his techniques at the Mourlot Studios (lithographs) and at the Atelier Lacourière (engravings). A close relationship lasting forty years developed with the printer Fernand Mourlot and resulted in the production of over one thousand different lithographic editions.

In 1959, André Breton asked Joan Miro to represent Spain in The Homage to Surrealism exhibition together with works by Enrique Tábara, Salvador Dalí, and Eugenio Granell. Miró created a series of sculptures and ceramics for the garden of the Maeght Foundation in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France, which was completed in 1964. You can find great posters to collect...See the Allposter's search box!

Salvador Dali , and Eugenio Granell. Joan Miró created a series of sculptures and ceramics for the garden of the Maeght Foundation in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France, which was completed in 1964.

Time for a slide show......

Experimental Style

Joan Miro was among the first artists to develop automatic drawing as a way to undo previous established techniques in painting, and thus, with André Masson, represented the beginning of Surrealism as an art movement. However, Miró chose not to become an official member of the Surrealists in order to be free to experiment with other artistic styles without compromising his position within the group. He pursued his own interests in the art world, ranging from automatic drawing and surrealism, to Expressionism and Color Field painting. Joan Miro's oft-quoted interest in the assassination of painting is derived from a dislike of bourgeois art of any kind, used as a way to promote propaganda and cultural identity among the wealthy. Specifically, Miró responded to Cubism in this way, which by the time of his quote had become an established art form in France. He is quoted as saying "I will break their guitar," referring to Picasso's paintings, with the intent to attack the popularity and appropriation of Picasso's art by politics.

"The spectacle of the sky overwhelms me. I'm overwhelmed when I see, in an immense sky, the crescent of the moon, or the sun. There, in my pictures, tiny forms in huge empty spaces. Empty spaces, empty horizons, empty plains - everything which is bare has always greatly impressed me." - Joan Miro, 1958, quoted in Twentieth-Century Artists on Art.

Book Review

Here are two interesting books that I recommend! One is called Joan Miro written by Rosa Maria Malet and the other is Joan Miro by Margit Rowell. Both are stimulating and inspiring but don't take my word for it...Daniel C. Boyer wrote a review about Margit Rowell's book that will convince you....

Daniel C. Boyer's review:

For those who only know Joan Miro as a painter of "abstract" or "childlike" pictures, Joan Miro : Selected Writings and Interviews reveals the true radicalism of his thought, a radicalism which, in the realm of visual art, equals that of Lenin in politics. Unlike other works, which ignore his theories about, for example, the "murder of painting," or acknowledge them only to distort their true meaning, here, "the most surrealist of us all" speaks in his own voice, enabling one to track the evolution of his thought from schoolyard days, through the frustration of his time in the army, to the development of ideas about the pen and brush which challenged the very world as it exists. The man who challenged his father by declaring the sky was purple was an intractable enemy of consensus reality. Yet in his ruthless charge towards the future, he did not cease from being a maker of pictures existing in all time and even outside of time. This work's precious insight provides little comfort for those who, as a defense mechanism or out of studied denial, belittle Joan Miro's connection to surrealism, or the importance of his revolutionary role.

He expressed a dislike for art critics!

In an interview with biographer Walter Erben, Joan Miró expressed his dislike for art critics, saying, they "are more concerned with being philosophers than anything else. They form a preconceived opinion, then they look at the work of art. Painting merely serves as a cloak in which to wrap their emaciated philosophical systems."

Four-dimensional painting is a theoretical type of painting Miró proposed in which painting would transcend its two-dimensionality and even the three-dimensionality of sculpture.

In the final decades of his life Joan Miró accelerated his work in different media, producing hundreds of ceramics, including the Wall of the Moon and Wall of the Sun at the UNESCO building in Paris. He also made temporary window paintings (on glass) for an exhibit. In the last years of his life Miró wrote his most radical and least known ideas, exploring the possibilities of gas sculpture and four-dimensional painting.

In 1974, Joan Miró created a tapestry for the World Trade Center in New York City. He had initially refused to do a tapestry, then he learned the craft and produced several ones. His World Trade Center Tapestry was displayed for many years at World Trade Center building. It was one of the most expensive works of art lost during the attack of the twin towers.

In 1981, Miró's The Sun, the Moon and One Star — later renamed Miró's Chicago — was unveiled. This large, mixed media sculpture is situated outdoors in the downtown Loop area of Chicago, across the street from another large public sculpture, the Chicago Picasso. Miró had created a bronze model of The Sun, the Moon and One Star in 1967. The model now resides in the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Great posters to collect......

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