Joan Miró Life and Art Periods

JOAN MIRÓ SYNOPSIS

Early in his career, Miró primarily painted still-lifes, landscapes, and genre images. Influences ranging from the folk art and Romanesque church frescoes of his native Catalan region in Spain to 17th-century Dutch realism were eventually superseded by more contemporary ones: Fauvism, Cubism, and Surrealism captivated the young artist, who had relocated to Paris in 1921. His exposure to the ideas of André Breton and his Surrealist circle prompted Miró to make radical changes to his style, although the artist cannot be said to have identified consistently with a single style. Rather, his artistic career may be characterized as one of persistent experimentation and a lifelong flirtation with non-objectivity. Miró's signature colorful, biomorphic forms, roughly geometric shapes, and marginally recognizable objects are expressed in multiple media, from ceramics and engravings to large bronze installations.

JOAN MIRÓ KEY IDEAS

Conducting his own Surrealism-inspired exploration, Miró invented a new kind of relational pictorial space in which carefully rendered, self-contained objects issuing strictly from the artist's imagination are juxtaposed with simple, recognizable forms - a sickle moon, a simplified dog, a ladder. There is the sense that they have always coexisted both in the material realm and in the shallow pictorial space of Miró's art.
Miró's art never became fully non-objective. Rather than resorting to complete abstraction, the artist devoted his career to exploring various means by which to dismantle traditional precepts of representation. Miró's radical, inventive style was a critical contributor in the early twentieth-century avant-garde journey toward increasing and then complete abstraction.
Miró balanced the kind of spontaneity and automatism encouraged by the Surrealists with meticulous planning and rendering to achieve finished works that, because of their precision, seemed plausibly representational despite their considerable level of abstraction.
Miró often worked with a somewhat limited palette, yet the colors he used were bold and expressive. His chromatic explorations, which emphasized the potential of fields of unblended color to respond to one another, provided inspiration for a generation of color field painters.
Artists have traditionally confined themselves to visual expression in a single medium with occasional forays into other materials. However, Miró was, in a sense, a modern renegade who refused to limit himself in this regard. While he explored certain themes such as that of Mother and Child repeatedly throughout his long career, Miró did so in a variety of media from painting and printmaking to sculpture and ceramics, often achieving surprising and disparate results.
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JOAN MIRÓ BIOGRAPHY

Childhood

Joan Miró was born in Spain in 1893 to a family of craftsmen. His father, Miguel, was a watchmaker and goldsmith, while his grandfathers were cabinetmakers and blacksmiths. Perhaps in keeping with his family's artistic inclinations, Miró exhibited a strong love of drawing at an early age; according to biographers, he was not particularly inclined toward academics. Rather, Miró pursued art-making and studied landscape and decorative art at the School of Industrial and Fine Arts (the Llotja) in Barcelona. Despite his professed desire to forge a career in the arts, at the behest of his parents, Miró attended, the School of Commerce from 1907-10. His relatively brief foray into the business world, characterized by constant study, instilled a strong sense of order and a robust work ethic in Miró but at a very high cost. Following what has been characterized as, in essence, a nervous breakdown, Miró abandoned his business career and subsequently devoted himself fully to making art.

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Early Training

In 1912, Miró enrolled in an art academy in Barcelona. The school taught Miró about modern art movements in Western Europe and introduced him to contemporary Catalan poets. Miró was also encouraged to go out into the countryside in the midst of the landscapes he wished to paint and to study the artistic practices of his contemporaries. Between 1912 and 1920, Miró painted still-lifes, nudes, and landscapes. His style during this period in his early career has been referred to as "poetic realism." It was during this phase of his career that Miró developed an interest in the bold, bright colors of the French Fauve painters and the fractured, geometric compositions of the Cubists.

Mature Period

Joan Miro Biography

In 1919, Miró moved to Paris to continue his artistic development. Due to considerable financial hardship, his life in Paris was difficult at first. When discussing his life during those first lean, early years in Paris, the artist quipped, "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 had any supper." It seems that physical deprivation enlivened the young Miró's imagination. "I saw things," he explained, "and I jotted them down in a notebook. I saw shapes on the ceiling..."

Artistically, Miró was drawn to the Dada and Surrealist movements. He became friends with the Surrealist writer André Breton, forming a relationship that lasted for many years. The Surrealists were most active in Paris during the 1920s, having formally joined forces in 1924 with the publication of their Surrealist Manifesto. Their members, led by Breton, promoted "pure psychic automatism," which heavily informed Miró's work. While the Surrealists experimented with the irrational in art and writing, Miró's art manifested these dream-like qualities, becoming increasingly biomorphic, enigmatic, and innovative.

To his utter disappointment, Miró's first solo show in Paris in 1921 was a complete disaster; he did not sell a single work. However, a determined Miró went on to participate in the first Surrealist exhibition in 1925. He collaborated with the group's members in the creation of larger commissions, working with Max Ernst in 1926 on the creation of Sergei Diaghilev's ballet set designs. In his own work at the time, Miró painted fantastic and bizarre interpretations of his dreams.

Miró married Pilar Juncosa in 1929, and their only child, Dolores, was born in 1931. His career flourished during this time. In 1934, Miró's art began to be exhibited in both France and the United States. He was still residing in Paris when war broke out in Europe, and by 1941 Miró was forced to flee to Mallorca with his family. Perhaps not surprisingly, warfare and political tension were prominent themes in his art during this period; his canvases became increasingly grotesque and brutal. Concurrently, Miró's first retrospective was held at the MoMA in New York City to great acclaim. His renown continued to grow both in America and Europe, culminating in a large-scale mural commission in Cincinnati in 1947. Miró's simplified forms and his life-long impulse toward experimentation inspired a generation of American artists, the Abstract Expressionists, whose emphasis on non-representational art signaled a major shift in artistic production in the U.S.

In the 1950s, Miró began dividing his time between Spain and France. A large exhibition of 60 of Miró's works was held at the Gallerie Maeght in Paris and subsequently at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York in 1953. By the mid-1950s, Miró had begun working on a much larger scale, both on canvas and in ceramics. In 1959, Miró along with Salvador Dalí, Enrique Tabara, and Eugenio Granell participated in Homage to Surrealism, an exhibition in Spain organized by André Breton. The 1960s were a prolific and adventurous time for Miró as he continued to break away from his own patterns, in some instances revisiting and reinterpreting some of his older works. While he never altered the essence of his style, his later work is recognized as more mature, distilled, and refined in terms of form.

Late Period and Death

Joan Miro Photo

As Miró aged, he continued to receive many accolades and public commissions. In 1974, he was commissioned to create a tapestry for New York's World Trade Center, demonstrating his achievements as an internationally renowned artist as well as his place in popular culture. He received an honorary degree from the University of Barcelona in 1979. Miró died at his home in 1983, a year after completing Woman and Bird, a grand public sculpture for the city of Barcelona; the work was, in a sense, the culmination of a prolific career so profoundly integral to the development of Modern art.

JOAN MIRÓ LEGACY

Testing the limits of representation and relying on the imagination rather than the objective world, Miró identified a sort of aesthetic point of no return and instead blazed a trail upon which subsequent artists would tread soon thereafter. Along with other Dada and Surrealist artists like Jean Arp and Yves Tanguy, Miró explored the possibility of creating an entirely new visual vocabulary for art that, while not divorced from the objective world, could exist outside of it. Rather than transitioning to complete abstraction, Miró's biomorphic forms remained within the bounds of objectivity. However, they were forms of pure invention and were made expressive and imbued with meaning through their juxtaposition with other forms and the artist's use of color. Much has been made of his influence on the color field painters - Motherwell, Gorky, Pollock, and Rothko, among others, on Calder, who was a close friend of Miró, and, more recently, on designers Paul Rand, Lucienne Day, and Julian Hatton.

Original content written by Ashley Remer
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JOAN MIRÓ QUOTES

"The joy of achieving in a landscape a perfect comprehension of a blade of grass...as beautiful as a tree or a mountain...What most of all interests me is the calligraphy of the tiles on a roof or that of a tree scanned leaf by leaf, branch by branch."

"Never, never do I set to work on a canvas in the state it comes in from the shop. I provoke accidents - a form, a splotch of color. Any accident is good enough. I let the matiere decide. Then I prepare a ground by, for example, wiping my brushes on the canvas. Letting fall some drops of turpentine on it would do just as well. If I want to make a drawing I crumple the sheet of paper or I wet it; the flowing water traces a line and this line may suggest what is to come next."

"How can it be said that, given the fact that all the signs I transcribe upon the canvas correspond to something concrete - how can it be said that they back a foundation in reality, do not form part of the real world?"

Joan Miró

Joan Miró Influences

Interactive chart with Joan Miró's main influencers, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.

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Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall was a Russian-born, Jewish-French artist that reached great popularity during the twentieth century. Although his art is associated with several movements, Chagall is commonly grouped in with the German Expressionists. Much of his early work was credited with synthesizing visual elements of Cubism, Symbolism and Fauvism.
TheArtStory - Modern Art GuideModern Art Information Marc Chagall
Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch painter, commonly associated with the Post-Impressionist period. As one of the most prolific and experimental artists of his time, van Gogh was a spontaneous painter and a master of color and perspective. Troubled by personal demons all his life, many historians speculate that van Gogh suffered from a Bipolar disorder.
TheArtStory - Modern Art GuideModern Art Information Vincent van Gogh
Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Kandinsky
A member of the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter, and later a teacher at the Bauhaus, Kandinsky is best known for his pioneering breakthrough into expressive abstraction in 1913. His work prefigures that of the American Abstract Expressionists.
TheArtStory - Modern Art GuideModern Art Information Wassily Kandinsky
André Masson
André Masson
André Masson was a French painter and one of the pioneers of Surrealism. His practice of "automatic drawing" consisted of methodically supressing his conscious mind while creating art, thus allowing Masson to work from his subconscious. He was also known to work after long periods of forced hunger and sleep deprivation, resulting in quasi-hallucinatory images.

Modern Art Information André Masson
Francis Picabia
Francis Picabia
Francis Picabia was a French artist who worked in Dada, Surrealist, and abstract modes, often employing language and mechanical imagery. He published the Dada journal 391 in Barcelona and America.
TheArtStory - Modern Art GuideModern Art Information Francis Picabia
Expressionism
Expressionism
Expressionism is a broad term for a host of movements in early twentieth-century Germany, from Die Brücke (1905) and Der Blaue Reiter (1911) to the early Neue Sachlichkeit painters in the 1920s and '30s. Many German Expressionists used vivid colors and abstracted forms to create spiritually or psychologically intense works, while others focused on depictions of war, alienation, and the modern city.
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Fauvism
Fauvism
Fauvism was an early twentieth-century art movement founded by Henri Matisse and André Derain. Labeled as "wild beasts", Fauve artists favored vibrant colors and winding gestural strokes across the canvas.
TheArtStory - Modern Art GuideModern Art Information Fauvism
Surrealism
Surrealism
Perhaps the most influential avant-garde movement of the century, Surrealism was founded in Paris in 1924 by a small group of writers and artists who sought to channel the unconscious as a means to unlock the power of the imagination. Much influenced by Freud, they believed that the conscious mind repressed the power of the imagination. Influenced also by Marx, they hoped that the psyche had the power to reveal the contradictions in the everyday world and spur on revolution.
TheArtStory - Modern Art GuideModern Art Information Surrealism
Dada
Dada
Dada was an artistic and literary movement that emerged in 1916. It arose in reaction to World War I, and the nationalism and rationalism that many thought had led to the War. Influenced by several avant-gardes - Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism, and Expressionism - its output was wildly diverse, ranging from performance art to poetry, photography, sculpture, painting and collage. Emerging first in Zurich, it spread to cities including Berlin, Hanover, Paris, New York and Cologne.
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Cubism
Cubism
Cubism was developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque between 1907-1911, and it continued to be highly influential long after its decline. This classic phase has two stages: 'Analytic', in which forms seem to be 'analyzed' and fragmented; and 'Synthetic', in which pre-existing materials such as newspaper and wood veneer are collaged to the surface of the canvas.
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Robert Motherwell
Robert Motherwell
Robert Motherwell was a first-generation Abstract Expressionist whose paintings use hulking shapes, large-scale strokes and calligraphy, and wide expanses of muted color. Eloquent and well-educated, he wrote extensively on theories of art.
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Mark Rothko
Mark Rothko
Mark Rothko was an Abstract Expressionist painter whose early interest in mythic landscapes gave way to mature works featuring large, hovering blocks of color on colored grounds.
TheArtStory - Modern Art GuideModern Art Information Mark Rothko
Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock was the most well-known Abstract Expressionist and the key example of Action Painting. His work ranges from Jungian scenes of primitive rites to the purely abstract "drip paintings" of his later career.
TheArtStory - Modern Art GuideModern Art Information Jackson Pollock
Arshile Gorky
Arshile Gorky
Arshile Gorky was an Armenian-born American painter and a major influence on the development of Abstract Expressionism. In his own art he fused elements of Cubism, Surrealism and Expressionism, and was close with key figures central to New York's burgeoning abstrct art scene, such as John Graham, Stuart Davis and Willem de Kooning.
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Helen Frankenthaler
Helen Frankenthaler
Helen Frankenthaler was an American abstract painter in mid-twentieth-century New York. Along with Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland, Frankenthaler is considered a pioneer in the practice of color-field painting.
TheArtStory - Modern Art GuideModern Art Information Helen Frankenthaler
Abstract Expressionism
Abstract Expressionism
A tendency among New York painters of the late 1940s and '50s, all of whom were committed to an expressive art of profound emotion and universal themes. The movement embraced the gestural abstraction of Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock, and the color field painting of Mark Rothko and others. It blended elements of Surrealism and abstract art in an effort to create a new style fitted to the postwar mood of anxiety and trauma.
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Color Field Painting
Color Field Painting
A tendency within Abstract Expressionism, distinct from gestural abstraction, color field painting was developed by Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, and Clyfford Still in the late 1940s, and developed further by Helen Frankenthaler and others. It is characterized by large fields of color and an absence of any figurative motifs, and often expresses a yearning for transcendence and the infinite.
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Realism
Realism
Realism is an approach to art that stresses the naturalistic representation of things, the look of objects and figures in ordinary life. It emerged as a distinct movement in the mid-nineteenth century, in opposition to the idealistic, sometimes mythical subjects that were then popular, but it can be traced back to sixteenth-century Dutch art and forward into twentieth-century styles such as Social Realism.

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André Breton
André Breton
André Breton, author of the 1924 Surrealist Manifesto, was an influential theorizer of both Dada and Surrealism. Born in France, he emigrated to New York during World War II, where he greatly influenced the Abstract Expressionists.
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Max Ernst
Max Ernst
Max Ernst was a German Dadaist and Surrealist whose paintings and collages combine dream-like realism, automatic techniques, and eerie subject matter.
TheArtStory - Modern Art GuideModern Art Information Max Ernst
Sergei Diaghilev
Sergei Diaghilev
Sergei Diaghilev was a Russian art critic, patron, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes, from which many famous dancers and choreographers would rise. The end of the nineteenth century brought changes in harmonic and metric devices. They became either more rigid, or much more unpredictable, and each approach had a liberating effect on rhythm, which also affected ballet. Diaghilev was a pioneer in adapting these new musical styles to modern ballet.

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Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí was a Spanish Surrealist painter who combined a hyperrealist style with dream-like, sexualized subject matter. His collaborations with Hollywood and commercial ventures, alongside his notoriously dramatic personality, earned him scorn from some Surrealist colleagues.
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Enrique Tabara
Enrique Tabara
Luis Enrique Tábara was born in 1930, Guayaquil, Ecuador. He is a master painter and teacher representing a whole Hispanic pictorial and artistic culture. Tábara investigates and demystifies the image in which he takes refuge. His energetic and innovating spirit is a constant that reveals the anxious and versatile spirit of the teacher. A master of experimentation, he is fully aware of his roots and the process that he has followed over the years, with an abundant mass of brilliant works to show for it.

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Eugenio Granell
Eugenio Granell
Eugenio Granell, 1912-2001, was an artist often described as the last Spanish Surrealist painter. Playfulness, advocated by the surrealists as an expression of freedom, pervades the whole of this artist's work. Granell's dialogue and writing have always ironically mocked solemnity and reason itself. Such are his painting, his sculpture and his readymades: an extremely beautiful elegy to freedom and the purity of feelings. In 1959, André Breton organized an exhibit called The Homage to Surrealism Exhibition to celebrate the Fortieth Anniversary of Surrealism which exhibited works by Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Enrique Tábara and Eugenio Granell.

Modern Art Information Eugenio Granell
Hans Arp
Hans Arp
Hans Arp (also known as Jean Arp) was a German-French artist who incorporated chance, randomness, and organic forms into his sculptures, paintings, and collages. He was involved with Zurich Dada, Surrealism, and the Abstraction-Creation movement.

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Yves Tanguy
Yves Tanguy
Yves Tanguy was a French painter and one of the key figures of French Surrealism in the early twentieth century. Having never received any formal training, Tanguy was a self-taught painter who became best known for his highly imaginitive landscapes and detailed precision.

Modern Art Information Yves Tanguy
Alexander Calder
Alexander Calder
Alexander Calder was an American artist who made important contributions to abstract sculpture, hanging mobiles, and Kinetic art. His work reflects both modern and Surrealist influences.
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Paul Rand
Paul Rand
Paul Rand, 1914-1996, was an American graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs, including the logos for IBM, UPS, Enron, Westinghouse, ABC, and Steve Jobs' NeXT. Steve Jobs was pleased: just prior to Rand's death in 1996, his former client labeled him, simply, "the greatest living graphic designer." Although his logos may be interpreted as simplistic, Rand was quick to point out in A Designer's Art that "ideas do not need to be esoteric to be original or exciting." Rand taught design at Yale University, and was inducted into the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 1972.

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Lucienne Day
Lucienne Day
Désirée Lucienne Day, 1917-2010, was a British textile designer. Inspired by abstract art, she pioneered the use of bright, optimistic, abstract patterns in post-war England, and was eventually celebrated worldwide. Day's work combined organic shapes with bright patterns inspired by contemporary abstract painters such as Wassily Kandinsky and Joan Miró . She believed that good design should be affordable. In the 1970s, Day ceased to design mass production fabrics, turning instead to creating what she called "mosaics": large tapestries made of thousands of pieces of Thai and Indian silk. They currently hang in the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, and the coffee shop of a John Lewis store in Kingston upon Thames.

Modern Art Information Lucienne Day
Julian Hatton
Julian Hatton
Julian Burroughs Hatton III is an American landscape abstract artist from New York City whose paintings have appeared in galleries in the United States and France. The New York Times described his painting style as "vibrant, playful, semi-abstract landscapes" while New York Sun art critic John Goodrich compared him to French painter Bonnard. Hatton's abstract landscapes have been compared to paintings by Arthur Dove and Georgia O'Keeffe because of his "unbridled love of pure, hot color" similar to Gaughin and the Fauves, according to critic Ann Landi of ARTnews. Hatton lives and works in New York City.

Modern Art Information Julian Hatton
The Ear of Grain
The Ear of Grain

Title: The Ear of Grain (1922)

Artwork Description & Analysis: The Ear of Grain is an early work in which Miró demonstrates his close study of everyday objects, in some ways a by-product of study in a traditional academic setting. As a young artist, Miró was influenced by the painstaking, detailed realism of the Dutch Masters. The attention he gives to objects is reflected later in the care Miró takes with constructing the clean-edged, biomorphic forms of his trademark style.


Oil on canvas - The Museum of Modern Art, New York

The Farm
The Farm

Title: The Farm (1921)

Artwork Description & Analysis: A dramatically tilted picture plane presents the viewer with a glimpse of a busy Spanish masia or "family farm." Miró wrote of this work, "The Farm was a résumé of my entire life in the country. I wanted to put everything I loved about the country into that canvas-from a huge tree to a tiny snail." The artist spent sometimes as many as eight hours a day for nine months working on this painting, for which he then struggled to find a buyer in a Parisian modern art market crazy for Cubism. In The Farm, Miró combines an interest in primitivism, perhaps harkening back to his attraction to Catalan folk art, and a Cubist vocabulary to produce a strangely haunting landscape that prefigures his Surrealist work. His almost maniacal attention to detail where carefully rendered objects are displayed against stark, monochromatic expanses of space makes for an unsettling contrast. Flattened forms exist side-by-side with carefully rendered and modeled objects, a testament to the influence of Cézanne and the Cubists.Collection: National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.


Oil on canvas - National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

The Tilled Field
The Tilled Field

Title: The Tilled Field (1923)

Artwork Description & Analysis: Populated with complex, often inscrutable forms, The Tilled Field, with its puzzling iconography, is an abstract depiction of the landscape of Miró's Catalan homeland. The painting, teeming with organic forms that merge and meld seemingly in defiance of nature, is a testament to Miró's ever-increasing stylization and abstraction at this point in his career. The picture may be viewed as both an homage to Spain's past and a statement on the political upheaval in Europe. In subtle ways, Miró's works frequently expressed his own political sentiments as does this one as well as works from the period leading up to and throughout World War II. The painting also emphasizes how extremely radical was Miró's departure from his previous, naturalist style once he arrived in Paris and was exposed to the avant-garde art of that city in which innovation thrived.


Oil on canvas - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Maternity
Maternity

Title: Maternity (1924)

Artwork Description & Analysis: The composition of Maternity is very schematic: reduced to its simplest forms, the female figure is scarcely recognizable in this painting. With one breast in profile and the other frontally depicted, almost moon-like, she nurses two stick-figure children as they hover in mid-air. Miró's interest in abstraction and the bizarre is evident as he takes a typical motif of Mother and Child and eliminates any element of realism. However, with the title, Maternity, Miró suggests that what remains after stripping away excess representation are the instinctual and emotional aspects of the relationship between mother and child that may not be evident in more naturalistic depictions.


Oil on canvas - National Gallery of Art, Scotland

The Beautiful Bird Revealing the Unknown to a Pair of Lovers
The Beautiful Bird Revealing the Unknown to a Pair of Lovers

Title: The Beautiful Bird Revealing the Unknown to a Pair of Lovers (1941)

Artwork Description & Analysis: In his Constellations series of 1940-1, Miró set about to create new challenges in composition and then to solve them. One from this series of ten multi-media works on paper, The Beautiful Bird Revealing the Unknown to a Pair of Lovers, features a reducedpalette, including a solid background that emphasizes the simplified forms and lines that together mimic the appearance of a complex constellation in the night sky. In the midst of producing this series, Miró was forced to flee with his family from France to Mallorca to escape advancing German troops. Evidently the family took little else with them aside from these paintings. The crowded, chaotic feeling of these compositions in some ways echo Miró'sfeelings regarding the violent upheaval in Europe at the time.


Gouache, charcoal, and oil wash on paper - Museum of Modern Art, New York

Lunar Bird
Lunar Bird

Title: Lunar Bird (1946-49)

Artwork Description & Analysis: Miró's experimentation with multiple media led him into the third dimension, where one of his most favored materials became bronze. The principle of mystical oppositions underlines much of Miró's Surrealist sculpture, including Lunar Bird. With this work, the sun and the moon, male and female, and night and day are both contradictory and complementary forces. The work resembles ancient votive statues and is highly polished so that, despite its dark, solid appearance, it becomes paradoxically reflective. Lighter, curving elements lift the ensemble of shapes upward while a solid, sturdy base, like the legs of a primal mother, root the sculpture firmly to the earth. Bereft of color, unlike the artist's later sculptures, Lunar Bird relies on alternating, contrasting shapes to bring the object to life.


Bronze - Fundació Joan Miró

Woman and Bird
Woman and Bird

Title: Woman and Bird (1967)

Artwork Description & Analysis: Highly polished surfaces and unusual patinas added to the intrigue of his Surrealist sculptures as with Lunar Bird (above). By the 1960s, he was utilizing the bright colors he favored in combination with the solidity of the bronze. The woman and bird theme was thus explored in the round yet still carrying with it the enigmatic charge of its two-dimensional counterparts. With this sculpture, Miró expands the visual space of the work, inviting the viewer to interact in a directly physical way, to inhabit the space of these symbolic figures. The artist is also working on a larger scale-roughly 4' tall and 3' wide-and thus the figures lose their mysterious intimacy and become more interactive and, in a sense, accessible.


Bronze, polychrome - Fundació Joan Miró

Woman and Bird
Woman and Bird

Title: Woman and Bird (1982)

Artwork Description & Analysis: This monumental sculpture, standing 66 feet tall, was part of Barcelona's public art initiative and is consideredMiró's last great work. Assisted by a team of craftsmen, Woman and Bird was built of concrete and colorful, broken ceramic tile; itsirregular contours and tile mosaic were in partan homage to the great architect Antonio Gaudi whom Miró admired and studied with at the Cercle Artistic de SantLluc. The sculpture is sited at the corner of a large reflecting pool in the Parc de Joan Miró, which is populated with 30 other sculptures by the artist. The massive figure of a woman on whose head perches a bright yellow bird is evocative of the colossal sculptures that guarded the ports of ancient cities and presided over their most hallowed sites like the Athena Parthenos on the sacred Acropolis.


Oil on canvas - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Bibliography
The books and articles below constitute a bibliography of the sources used in the writing this page. These also suggests some accessible resources for further research, especially ones that can be found and purchased via the internet.