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

  • What Are Illuminated Manuscripts and How Were They Created?

    First created in the sixth century and popularized across Europe into the 15th century, illuminated manuscripts centralized the command of Middle Age churches and monasteries, symbolizing a new era of ...
    Read More
  • Artist Michael Cheval Tells the Stories Behind His Fall Art

    Many artists are drawn to the unique colors and sensations of autumn, and that includes Absurdist artist Michael Cheval.“I love autumn,” Cheval says. “I love the season when colors are ...
    Read More
  • Meet Scott Jacobs: The Original Harley Davidson Artist

    Scott Jacobs is internationally recognized for his photorealistic artwork of everything from wine bottles to Harley Davidsons, but he knows art is about so much more than just capturing ...
    Read More
  • Experience Fall With the Art of Slava Ilyayev

    Fewer artists are able to capture the changing leaves, the crisp air, and romance of fall better than Slava Ilyayev.Park West Gallery is celebrating the turn of the season with ...
    Read More
  • Claude Monet Is Coming To Detroit—With The Help Of Park West Gallery

    Park West Gallery is bringing one of the founding fathers of the Impressionist movement to the gallery’s hometown—Detroit.Park West Gallery and the Park West Foundation are sponsoring “Monet: Framing ...
    Read More
  • Dominic Pangborn Selected to Honor Blessing of Father Solanus Casey

    Art and religion have a long-standing history. Artist Dominic Pangborn will join that time-honored tradition by creating artwork of a beloved Detroit priest on his way to becoming a saint.Pangborn ...
    Read More
  • 4 Tips on How to Plan the Perfect Cruise

    Did you know that October is “Plan a Cruise Month”? It’s a worldwide event—first started by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in 2016—focused on teaching both new and ...
    Read More
  • Park West Museum Features Yaacov Agam Exhibition

    Park West Gallery is inviting the public to experience the kinetic art of renowned Israeli artist Yaacov Agam in its newly-renovated gallery and museum.A special exhibition, “Agam,” will run ...
    Read More
  • Art News: Rome Creates Art Exhibition for the Blind

    The art world is full of fascinating exhibitions, intriguing discoveries, and moments that shape history. Here are some of the latest news items making headlines this week. New Exhibition Designed for ...
    Read More
  • How Yaacov Agam Became a Warrior For Truth (With a Little Help From...

    When “The Algemeiner,” one of the foremost Jewish newspapers in the world, announced they wanted to honor famed Israeli artist Yaacov Agam with their 2017 “Warrior for Truth” ...
    Read More
  • Park West Supports the 2017 Amelia Island Jazz Festival

    Enjoy the sounds of today’s top jazz performers and the sights of artwork by renowned artist Alfred “Alex” Gockel during the 2017 Amelia Island Jazz Festival.The annual jazz festival, held ...
    Read More
  • Park West Foundation Fosters Future Generations

    Less than 10 percent of Michigan’s foster care children who graduate high school enroll in college. Less than 1 percent of those who do go on to college will graduate. ...
    Read More