RUSART > History of Arts > Joan Miro

Joan Miro

(1893-1983)

 

Joan Miro was born on April 20, 1893 as the son of a goldsmith and jewelry maker in Barcelona in Northern Spain. Miro started drawing classes at the age of seven, but his parents would rather have seen him taking a job as a serious businessman. He even took business classes in 1907 simultaneously with his art classes. Miro worked as an accountant for nearly two years until he had a nervous breakdown. His parents finally accepted their son's choice of a career as an artist without giving him too much support.

His work before 1920 shows wide-ranging influences, including the bright colors of the Fauves, the broken forms of cubism, and the powerful, flat two-dimensionality of Catalan folk art and Romanesque church frescoes of his native Spain

In 1920, he visited Paris for the first time, and met Picasso. This is probably one of the main reasons why his style changed after this point, and Miro began to focus on more surreal paintings. He decided to move to Paris, and held his first solo exhibition there in 1921. From 1924 on, Miro joined the circle of the Surrealist theorist Andre Breton. His painting style took a turn to Surrealism. His comrades were Andre Masson and Max Ernst. But he never integrated himself completely into this group dominated by Andre Breton.

In 1926, Miro and his friend, Max Ernst, were commissioned to design the sets and costumes for the ballet Romeo and Juliet, performed in Paris by the Ballets Russes. Around this time, Miró also started to become interested in object collages. The first he produced was the Spanish Dancer. He moved away from painting for a while, and concentrated on sculptures. However, he also experimented with a wide variety of other artistic forms, including lithography, engraving, and painting over copper.

By 1930 the artist had developed his own style. Miro art is hard to describe. It is characterized by brilliant colors combined with simplified forms that are reminiscent of drawings made by children at the age of five. Joan Miro art integrates elements of Catalan folk art. He liked to compare his visual arts to poetry.

He married in 1929, and his daughter was born the following year. Miró then decided to spend more time in Spain, until the outbreak of the Spanish Civil war forced him to move his family back to Paris in 1936. They remained there until 1940, when they moved back to Spain. Miró continued to learn about, and experiment with, various materials and types of art, but it was his ceramic work that he concentrated on.

In the late 1950s, Miro began to produce commissioned works, particularly murals and large outdoor sculptures for locations around the world. In the end of the 1960s his final period was marked and lasted until his death. During this time, he concentrated more and more on monumental and public works. He was characterized by the body language and freshness with which he carried out his canvasses, as well as the special attention he paid to material and the stamp he received from informalism. He concentrated his interest on the symbol, not giving too much importance to the representing theme, but to the way the symbol emerged as the piece of work.

In 1975 the Joan Miro Foundation Centre of Contemporary Art Study was officially opened in the city of Barcelona and in 1979, four years before his death, he was named Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Barcelona. This Center is not surprisingly the biggest collection in the world, because Miro donated the vast majority of his masterpieces before his death. It includes 240 paintings, 175 sculptures, 9 textiles, 4 ceramics, the almost complete graphic works, and around 8,000 drawings. Other examples of Miro’s work can be found at museums and locations around the world. Miro died in Majorca, Spain, on December 25, 1983.

The Farmer
oil on canvas, 1912-14, 65x50cm
Private collection

Still Life with Rose
oil on cardboard, 1916, 77x74cm
Private collection

Prades, the Village
oil on canvas, 1917, 65x72.5cm
The Solomon R. Guggebheim Museum, New York

Ciurana, the Path
oil on canvas, 1917, 60x73cm

North-South
oil on canvas, 1917, 62x70cm
Private collection

Portrait of E.C. Ricart
Oil and color print on canvas, 1917, 81x65cm
Private collection

Portrait of V. Nubiola
oil on canvas, 1917, 104x113cm
Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany

Self-Portrait
oil on canvas, 1917, 61x50cm

Nude with the mirrow
oil on canvas, 1919, 112x102cm
Private collection

Self-Portrait
Oil on canvas, 1919, 75x60cm
Musee Picasso, Paris, France

The Waggon Tracks
oil on canvas, 1918, 75x75cm
Private collection

The Vegetable Garden with Donkey
oil on canvas, 1918, 64x70cm
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

Standing Nude
oil on canvas, 1921, 130x96cm
Perls Galleries, New York

The Table (Still Life with Rabbit)
Oil on canvas, 1920, 130x110cm
Private collection

The Farm
oil on canvas, 1921-22, 132x147cm
The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA

The Carbide Lamp
oil on canvas, 1922-23, 38x45.7cm
The Museum of Modern Arts, New York

The Farmer's Wife
oil on canvas, 1922-23, 81x65cm
Private collection

The Ear of Corn
Oil on canvas, 1922-23, 37.8x46cm
The Museum of Modern Arts, New York

The Tilled Field
oil on canvas, 1923-24, 66x92.7cm
The Solomon R. Guggebheim Museum, New York

Catalan Landscape (The Hunter)
oil on canvas, 1923-24, 64.8x100.3cm
The Museum of Modern Arts, New York

Carnival of Harlequin
oil on canvas, 1924

Bottle of Vine
oil on cardboar, 1924, 73.3x65.5cm
Private collection

Hermitage
Oil, pencil on canvas, 1924, 114.3x147cm
The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Catalan Peasant with a Guitar
oil on canvas, 1924, 148x114cm

Maternity
oil on canvas, 1924, 92x73cm
Private collection

The Birth of the World
Oil on canvas, 1925, 251x200cm
The Museum of Modern Arts, New York

Stars in Snails' Sexes
Oil on canvas, 1925, 130x97cm
Private collection

Dancer
oil on canvas, 1925, 115.5x88.5cm
Galerie Rosengart, Lucerne, Switzerland

Photo: This is the Color of My Dreams
oil on canvas, 1925, 96x130cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Pierre and Maria-Gaetana Matisse Collection

Siesta
Oil on canvas, 1925, 113x144cm
Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

Bathing Woman
Oil on canvas, 1925, 73x92cm
Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

Dog Barking at the Moon
oil on canvas, 1926, 73x92cm
The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Landscape (The Hare)
oil on canvas, 1927, 130x195cm
The Solomon R. Guggebheim Museum, New York

Dutch Interior
Oil on canvas, 1928, 91.8x73 cm
The Museum of Modern Arts, New York

Dutch Interior
Oil on canvas, 1928, 92x73cm
The Solomon R. Guggebheim Museum, New York

Dutch Interior
oil on canvas, 1928, 129.9x96.8cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Portrait of Mrs Mills in 1750 (after Constable)
oil on canvas, 1929, 116.7x89.6cm
The Museum of Modern Arts, New York

Drawing-Collage with a Hat
Pencil and collage on paper, 1933, 91.8x73 cm
The Museum of Modern Arts, New York

Painting
Oil on canvas, 1933, 130.4x162.5cm
Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona, Spain

Rope and People
oil and rope on cardboard, stuck to a wooden board, 1935, 104.7x74.6cm
The Museum of Modern Arts, New York

Metamorphose
Crayon et aquarelle, collage, 1936, 64x47.8cm

Still Life with Old Shoe
1937
The Museum of Modern Arts, New York

A Dew Drop Falling from a Bird's Wing Wakes Rosalie, who Has Been Asleep in the Shadow of a Spider's Web
Oil on canvas, 1939, 65.4x91.7cm
The University of Iowa Museum of Art, The Mark Pamney Memorial Fund, Iowa, IA, USA

Constellation: The Morning Star
Gouache and terpentine paint on paper, 1940, 38x46cm
Private collection

Woman and Bird Before the Moon
Oil on canvas, 1944


The Nightingale's Song at Midnight and the Morning Rain
Gouache and terpentine paint on paper, 1940, 38x46cm
Perls Galleries. New York

The Escape Ladder
Oil on canvas, 1939, 73x54cm
Private collection

Constellation: Awakening at Dawn
Gouache and terpentine paint on paper, 1945, 46x38cm
Private collection

Blue II
Oil on canvas, 1961, 270x355cm
Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

Blue III
Oil on canvas, 1961, 270x355cm
Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

Gold of the Azure
Oil on canvas, 1967, 205x173.5cm
Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona, Spain

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