MIRO, Joan

MIRÓ I FERRÀ, Joan (Barcelona, 1893 – Palma de Mallorca, 1983).

Miró was one of the great international figures of 20th-century art and developed a personal language close to surrealism, which powerfully influenced both his contemporaries and the generations that followed.

He trained at the Lonja School of Fine Arts and later at Francesco Gali Academy in Barcelona. At this academy and the arts society Cercle Artístic de Sant Lluc, the young Miró met some of his greatest friends: critic Sebastià Gasch, poet J.V. Foix, painter Josep Llorens Artigas and artistic promoter Joan Prats. His training years would be directly connected with the most avant-garde circles in Barcelona and in early 1918 he made his first exhibition at the Dalmau gallery in Barcelona.

In 1920, he moved to Paris and meet Picasso, Raynal, Max Jacob, Tzara and artists of Dadaism. These were crucial years in his artistic career when Miró would discover his personal language. In Paris he became friends with André Masson who together formed the ‘Rue Blomet’ society, and the future heart of Surrealism.

Thus, under the influence of surrealist poets and painters with whom he shared many of their theoretical views, his style continued to mature, which led him to visual, surrealist, poetry based on reminiscence, fantasy and irrationality. From that moment, his style evolution began leading to more ethereal work with organic forms reduced to points, lines and spots of abstract colour.

In 1924 he signed the first surrealist manifesto although the development of his work was far too complex to limit him to any particular orthodoxy.

Miro’s third exhibition in Paris in 1928 is believed his first great triumph as subsequently the Museum of modern art in New York acquired two of his works. During the 1930s, Miró would be celebrated as one of the most outstanding figures of the international art scene and one of the main artists of 20th century.

A nonconformist by nature, he entered a phase that he called ‘assassination of painting’. It was during that period, he voluntarily abandoned painting and experimented with other media, such as collage, drawing on various grains of paper material and the construction of ‘objects’ with discovered items, which was his first approach to sculpture.

Although he would soon resume painting again, Miro never abandoned his desire for experimentation with all kinds of materials and techniques. This included pottery, bronze, stone, graphic techniques and tapestry. He returned to Spain in 1941 and in this same year, the Museum of Modern art in New York would dedicate a retrospective seen as his final international celebration. During the 1950s, he experimented with other media, such as engraving, lithography, and ceramics.

From 1956 until his death in 1983, he lived at home in Palma de Mallorca but at the same time in exile whilst his international fame grew.

Throughout his life he received numerous awards, including the following:

  • Venice Biennale (1954).
  • Foundation Guggenheim (1959).
  • Carnegie de Pintura prize (1966).
  • Gold Medal from Generalitat de Cataluña (1978).
  • Gold Medal of Fine Arts 1980).

Appointed honorary doctorate at the universities of Harvard and Barcelona. 
Today his work can be seen in the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona, which was opened in 1975, as well as the main museums of contemporary art from around the world including the Thyssen- Bornemisza, MoMA (New York), National Museum of Queen Sofia (Madrid), National Gallery of Washington, MNAM of Paris and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo (USA). 
On this page you will find work by various artists. These artists don’t have an individual page as we usually only have one work by each artist.