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

Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest News

  • How Marc Chagall Came to Illustrate One of the Greatest Love Stories of...

    Bob Dylan once said that “passion is a young man’s game,” but over 60 years ago, at the age of 55, famed artist Marc Chagall illustrated one of the ...
    Read More
  • Why We Love Buying Art on Cruise Ships: Confessions of an Art Enthusiast...

    After entering their first cruise ship art auction, this couple has never looked back.Don and Tina Tritton almost missed the boat. While their ship was docked in Ketchikan during a ...
    Read More
  • The Story Behind Anatoly Metlan’s Flamenco Dancers

    Grace, poise, energy—these are the qualities one finds in skilled dancers around the world, and are almost impossible to capture in a work of art.Almost.While historically known for his beautiful ...
    Read More
  • Collect Unique Romero Britto Artwork During Our Limited-Time Sale

    Chances are you’ve seen Romero Britto’s instantly recognizable style during your travels, but odds are you’ve never seen this many unique Britto paintings in one place.Park West Gallery just ...
    Read More
  • Enjoy Art Auctions Aboard the World’s Largest Cruise Ship: Symphony of the Seas

    If you’re a fan of Royal Caribbean art auctions, something big is on the horizon.This April marks the maiden voyage of Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship, Symphony of the ...
    Read More
  • Daniel Wall Follows His Heart in His New Spring Collection

    Spring is that special time when flowers bloom and love is in the air, and artist Daniel Wall is one of the rare artists who can uniquely capture the ...
    Read More
  • Dominic Pangborn to Showcase Art at 2018 Winter Paralympics

    Not long after enjoying the Olympics in his native country of South Korea, artist Dominic Pangborn received an unexpected phone call from 2018 Paralympics officials.“They had talked about doing ...
    Read More
  • Auctioneer Spotlight: Lucy Orbell

    Many Park West collectors develop lasting friendships with our art teams, underscoring our 49-year reputation of connecting people from all walks of life with artwork they love.Here’s a chance to ...
    Read More
  • Music Legend Gary Puckett Transforms Park West VIP Events Into Concerts to Remember

    When you attend a Park West auction, you never know who you’re going to meet. You might meet fellow art lovers, your favorite artist, or—if you’re lucky—you might meet a ...
    Read More
  • The Surrealistic Art of Peter Max: How His Style Made Him an Art...

    Peter Max is ...
    Read More
  • Park West and Scott Jacobs Help Raise Funds for Young Musicians

    When Park West Gallery teams up with its artists for a good cause, they make great music together.Park West Gallery helped raise $7,000 for the Amelia Island Jazz Festival’s music ...
    Read More
  • 5 Facts You May Not Know About Yaacov Agam

    Israeli artist Yaacov Agam is a groundbreaking pioneer of the kinetic art movement. As such, art lovers around the world are familiar with his transformative artwork and art installations ...
    Read More