Behind the Artist: Joan Miró

The Perseides II Joan Miro. M.657 Park West Gallery

The Perseides II” (1970), Joan Miro. M.657

Joan Miró defied the art world with groundbreaking artwork that pushed the boundaries of abstraction into its current form and paved the way for modern art.

Intrigued by the artists gathering in Paris, Miró moved to the City of Lights in 1921. The Spanish artist crossed paths with other artists such as Pablo Picasso who were defining Surrealism and Cubism. Miró aligned himself with the proponents of the Surrealist movement in 1924.

Despite the Surrealism connection, Miró rejected any all-encompassing definition of his work during his lifetime. He instead sought to challenge traditional bourgeois art with an “assassination of painting” that defied categorization.

 

Miró created a unique style inspired by the artwork of children, Catalan folk art and the subconscious mind. In doing so, he disrupted the visual elements of established painting. As a testament to his abilities, works by Miró are permanently displayed at the Tate Modern, the National Gallery of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, among countless others.

Miró’s talents spanned all mediums, exemplified by his masterful skill in painting, printmaking, sculpture, and murals. He created an astounding body of work, including 2,000 oil paintings, 500 sculptures, and 400 ceramic objects. Miró was also one of the most prolific creators of original lithographs and etchings.

Below are three aspects of Miró’s art demonstrating why André Breton, the founder of Surrealism, considered Miró “the most Surrealist of us all.”

 

Micro and Macro Inspiration

Miró evoked cellular forms and particles within his paintings. By drawing upon the microscopic reality within all of us, Miró draws attention to the minuscule elements of our identity.

Joan Miro L'Exile Noir Park West Gallery

L’Exile Noir” (1969), Joan Miro

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Miró abstractly conveyed the expansive cosmos. On occasion, Miró included both cellular and cosmic forms in one artwork. Viewers are left pondering the universe within themselves and the universe that contains them. The contrast calls to mind the factor of control–how do “inner” things differ and align with “outer” things?

Miró’s surreal style also lends itself to open interpretation. Where one person may see a mythical creature amidst the shapes, another sees a person or a building.

 

Child-like Wonder

At first glance, a typical response to Miró’s artwork is, “my kid could paint this.”

The Seers VI Joan Miro. M.666 Park West Gallery

The Seers VI” (1970), Joan Miro. M.666

While comparing a professional artist’s artwork to a child’s may seem like a criticism, it reflects what Miró aimed to accomplish. The artist sought to re-create childlike wonderment and expression in his art. Bright colors, playful shapes, and loose compositions celebrate life and imagination in Miró’s art. Those who can observe art and life with humility and simplicity attest to Miró’s genius.

At the age of 67, Miró said: “The older I get and the more I master the medium, the more I return to my earliest experiences. I think that at the end of my life I will recover all the force of my childhood.”

 

Surrealist Storytelling

Literature played an important role in Miró’s career. He created illustrations for more than 250 books. To Miró, there was no difference between painting and poetry.

“For me, a painting must give off sparks. It must dazzle like the beauty of a woman or a poem,” Miró said.

Le Lezard aux Plumes d'or II Joan Miro. M.793 Park West Gallery

Le Lezard aux Plumes d’or II” (1971), Joan Miro. M.793

A fine example of Miró’s literary-inspired art is his series “Le Lézard aux Plumes d’Or” (The Lizard with Golden Feathers). The series of lithographs is based on a poem written by Miró. In lieu of depicting the actions in the poem, Miró illustrates the imagery the poem stimulated in his mind.

The Lézard series was commissioned by art publisher Louis Broder, who collaborated with artists such as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and André Masson to create artistic interpretations of literature and music.

For more information about Miró or to add a piece of art history to your collection, contact our gallery consultants at (800) 521-9654 ext. 4 or sales@parkwestgallery.com.

Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest News

  • How Artist Slava Ilyayev Brings Modern-Day Impressionism to Life

    Collectors around the world love the remarkably textured paintings of acclaimed artist Slava Ilyayev. While his style is uniquely his own, Ilyayev regularly cites Impressionists like Vincent van Gogh ...
    Read More
  • Meet the Artist: 10 Questions with Slava Ilyayev

    For artist Slava Ilyayev, it’s not just about expressing color—it’s about feeling.Much like the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists that influence him, Ilyayev creates art to express feeling and emotions. Specifically, ...
    Read More
  • See If You’re an Art Aficionado with Our Fall Sale Art Quiz

    With Park West's 2018 Fall Sale in full swing, it's time to get to know our featured art and artists with our new art quiz!As the largest privately-owned art ...
    Read More
  • What Makes a Master Artist? Meet 7 Legendary Masters in Our New Video

    
    Read More
  • MI Great Artist Announces First-Ever People’s Choice Winner, Top 35 Artists

    MI Great Artist has announced its 35 semi-finalists for 2018—including one lucky “People’s Choice” winner who automatically moves to the competition’s final round.Sponsored by Park West Gallery and Michigan’s Oakland ...
    Read More
  • See How Artist Slava Ilyayev Creates His Unbelievably Textured Paintings

    When people first encounter a painting by Slava Ilyayev, one of their most common questions is "How does he do that?"There is a level of texture and color in ...
    Read More
  • Meet the Artist: 10 Questions with Ron Agam

    Ron Agam started his career as an artist later in life, but has made up for lost time with bold, exciting art that evokes movement and contemplation.He readily admits ...
    Read More
  • Auctioneer Spotlight: Alex O’Rafferty and Candi Hanson

    At Park West, we know one thing for certain—our collectors love our onboard Art Teams.We hear it all the time. When people attend our auctions and art events on cruise ...
    Read More
  • Autumn de Forest Paints First-Ever Mural at Miami’s Wynwood Walls

    Having already exhibited her art in prevalent museums and galleries by the age of 16, art prodigy Autumn de Forest added some street cred to her impressive resume by ...
    Read More
  • Ilyayev, Max, Renoir, and More Now Available in 2018 Fall Sale

    As summer winds to a close, fall is definitely in the air. Bring the cozy feelings and amazing colors of autumn into your life with amazing new artwork from ...
    Read More
  • Collect the Breathtaking Art of Slava Ilyayev During our 2018 Fall Sale

    Incredible color, dynamic textures, and a magical sense of romance. Experience these sensations with the art of Slava Ilyayev during our 2018 Fall Sale.This limited-time sale features
    Read More
  • Take an Inside Look at Salvador Dalí’s Latest Museum Exhibition

    Salvador Dalí might be one of the world’s best known Surrealists, but an exciting new museum exhibition is re-examining the legacy of this legendary artist.You can take a behind-the-scenes ...
    Read More