Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Joan Miró (1893 - 1983)



Biography from the description section of a youtube video provided by DistantMirrors

Joan Miró i Ferrà (April 20, 1893 -- December 25, 1983) was a Spanish (Catalan) painter, sculptor, and ceramist born in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain to the family of a Goldsmith and Watchmaker. His work has been interpreted as Surrealism, a sandbox for the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride. In numerous interviews dating from the 1930s onwards, Miró expressed contempt for conventional painting methods and his desire to "kill", "murder", or "rape" them in favor of more contemporary means of expression.

Young Miró 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), Miró'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." Miró 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..."

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 Miró in 1940. In 1959, André Breton asked Miró to represent Spain in The Homage to Surrealism exhibition together with works by Enrique Tábara, Salvador Dalí, and Eugenio Granell.

By not becoming an official member of the Surrealists, Miró was free to experiment with any artistic style that he wished without compromising his position within the group and being accused of not being a "true" Surrealist. He pursued his own interests in the art world, both within and between groups which politicked and jockeyed for prominence. Miró's artistic autonomy, in that he did not adhere to any one particular style, is reflected in his work and his willingness to work with several media.

In an interview with biographer Walter Erben, 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."

Joan Miró won several awards in his lifetime. In 1958 he was given the Venice Biennale print making prize, in May 1959 the Guggenheim International Award, and in 1980 he received the Gold Medal of Fine Arts from King Juan Carlos of Spain.


Carnival of Harlequin



The Table (Still Life with Rabbit)



The Tilled Field



Dutch Interior I



Chiffres et Constellations



The Farm (La masia)



Catalan Landscape



Horse, Pipe, and Red Flower



Personage Throwing a Stone at a Bird



To view more photos from surrealist painter Joan Miró, go to Olga's Gallery

1 comment:

Corn Bread said...

I love Joan Miro work. Learned some interesting thing from that post. thanks. Joan Miros work has inspired many of my paintings.
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