(1893 – 1983), Spain

Joan Miró Artworks

In Joan Miró's art, the Catalan native, uses simple shapes and symbols to form a complex and novel visual grammar. This surreal, formally driven style features across paintings, drawings, etchings, ceramics and sculpture.

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Escaping Convention

As well as a Surrealist, Miró was also a leader among the associated artists in explorations of the subconscious, particularly with automatic drawing. Most of his paintings began as automatic drawings in an attempt to escape the conventions of representation and the painting medium itself. Describing his 1925 painting The Birth of the World, Miró said 'Rather than setting out to paint something I began painting and as I paint the picture begins to assert itself, or suggest itself under my brush ... The first stage is free, unconscious.'

In each of his works, Miró is highly selective of which formal features of the landscape to accentuate, and which to discard. A prime example of Miró's poetic rendering of everyday scenes, The Hunter (Catalan Landscape) (1923–4) shows the Catalan landscape reduced into flattened planes. Minimal symbols represent the animals and vegetation; the titular hunter is a bare few set of lines against a flat pink representing the ground and a flat yellow sky.

The Dutch Interiors

In 1928, Miró visited the Netherlands and became interested in the Dutch masters. Bringing home a set of postcards from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, he began a series of three paintings combining the Dutch regional style with his own unique visual vocabulary.

In Dutch Interior (I), a painting by Hendrick Martensz Sorgh is transitioned from an atmospheric image of a lute player performing for a woman to an energetic gathering of symbols across a flattened picture plane. Some aspects—such as the man's collar—have been accentuated, while others—such as the woman at the table—have been diminished or replaced. In this series, Miró's direct references to other images allow the audience to follow his path of inventive abstraction.

The Assassination of Painting

In the late 1920s, Miró became interested in the idea of the 'assassination of painting', within which he sought to escape or even destroy the traditions of bourgeois art and instead pursue more experimental forms. A work exemplary of this period, Painting (1936) was made with a mixture of gravel, sand and oil paint. The artist assured his dealer that rather than the work being ruined if some of the materials came loose when it was sent to an exhibition, the loss would 'make the surface . . . look like an old crumbling wall, which will give great force to the formal expression.'

In this period, he also experimented in collage and sculptural assemblage, as well as making costumes for ballet.

Spanish Paintings

Throughout his entire career, Miró's Spanish and Catalan nationalism remained a key influence on his work.

Ernest Hemingway, spoke highly of Miró's Spanish pastoral painting The Farm (1921), which he purchased: 'It has in it all that you feel about Spain when you are there and all that you feel when you are away and cannot go there. No one else has been able to paint these two very opposing things.'

During the Spanish Civil War, Miró was living in Paris. Deeply affected by the tragedy and tumult consuming his homeland, he was inspired to employ social criticism in his art. Works of this period also became more representational, such as in The Reaper—a mural for the Spanish Republic's pavilion at the Paris World Exhibition of 1937 that showed a peasant revolt.

Sculpture

Miró was also known for his Surrealist sculptures.

His earliest pieces were formed out of collections of found objects, such as Object (1936), whose media list is lengthy: 'stuffed parrot on wood perch, stuffed silk stocking with velvet garter and doll's paper shoe suspended in hollow wood frame, derby hat, hanging cork ball, celluloid fish and engraved map.' In the mid-1940s he turned towards ceramics, for which he embraced the full materiality of clay, often making intentionally imperfect pieces.

Browse Artworks
Le coeur flamboyant chasse la nuit by Joan Miró contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Joan Miró Le coeur flamboyant chasse la nuit, 1965 Gouache and India ink on paper
27 x 33 cm
Galeria Mayoral Contact Gallery
Le lézard aux plumes d'or by Joan Miró contemporary artwork painting
Joan Miró Le lézard aux plumes d'or, 22.11.1971 Colored wax crayons on paper
35.5 x 50 cm
Bailly Gallery Contact Gallery
Peinture by Joan Miró contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Joan Miró Peinture, 1963 Oil on unstretched, splattered rag with holes
56 x 26 cm
Galeria Mayoral Contact Gallery
Sans titre I by Joan Miró contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Joan Miró Sans titre I, 1972-73 Watercolour, India ink, and pastel crayon on paper
50 x 65 cm
Galeria Mayoral Contact Gallery
Sans titre by Joan Miró contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Joan Miró Sans titre, 1966 Oil and wax crayon on goat skin
90 x 75 cm
Helene Bailly Gallery Contact Gallery
Sans titre by Joan Miró contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Joan Miró Sans titre, 1966 Oil and wax crayon on goat skin
100 x 83 cm
Helene Bailly Gallery Contact Gallery
Les Essències de la Terra by Joan Miró contemporary artwork painting
Joan Miró Les Essències de la Terra, 1968 Oil on canvas
53 x 40.5 cm
Stern Pissarro Gallery Contact Gallery
La bague d’Aurore by Joan Miró contemporary artwork print
Joan Miró La bague d’Aurore, 1957 Etching
38 x 28 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris Contact Gallery
La bague d’Aurore by Joan Miró contemporary artwork print
Joan Miró La bague d’Aurore, 1957 Etching
38 x 28 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris Contact Gallery
Femme by Joan Miró contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Joan Miró Femme, 1976 Graphite on paper
21 x 27.5 cm
Helene Bailly Gallery Contact Gallery
Femme, oiseau, étoile, constellations by Joan Miró contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Joan Miró Femme, oiseau, étoile, constellations, 1977 Wax pencil and pencil on paper
30 x 22 cm
Helene Bailly Gallery Contact Gallery
Untitled by Joan Miró contemporary artwork painting
Joan Miró Untitled, 1976 Colour chalk drawing on wove paper
32 x 23.3 cm
Helene Bailly Gallery Contact Gallery
Femme aux trois cheveux by Joan Miró contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Joan Miró Femme aux trois cheveux, 1976 Oil on canvas
27 x 19 cm
Helene Bailly Gallery Contact Gallery
Sans titre by Joan Miró contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Joan Miró Sans titre, 1966 Marker pen, wax crayon on blue paper
42.5 x 54.2 cm
Helene Bailly Gallery Contact Gallery
Sans titre by Joan Miró contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
Joan Miró Sans titre, 1981 Oil, gouache, India ink and charcoal on paper
54.6 x 40 cm
Galeria Mayoral Contact Gallery
Roméo et Juliette by Joan Miró contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Joan Miró Roméo et Juliette, 1926 Watercolour, gouache and pencil on paper
12.7 x 50.2 cm
Galeria Mayoral Contact Gallery
Fillette / Young Girl by Joan Miró contemporary artwork sculpture
Joan Miró Fillette / Young Girl, 1967 Bronze
37 x 13 x 12 cm
Waddington Custot Contact Gallery
Femmes, oiseau, étoiles by Joan Miró contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
Joan Miró Femmes, oiseau, étoiles, 1942 Pencil, pastel, India ink and watercolour on paper
31 x 24 cm
Sold
Waddington Custot
Untitled by Joan Miró contemporary artwork drawing
Joan Miró Untitled, 1930 Graphite on paper, 17/IX/1930
46 x 62 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris Contact Gallery
Personnage by Joan Miró contemporary artwork painting
Joan Miró Personnage, 1977 Oil on canvas
92 x 73 cm
Galerie Gmurzynska Contact Gallery
Vigneron by Joan Miró contemporary artwork sculpture
Joan Miró Vigneron, 1972 Bronze (lost wax casting)
34 x 20 x 14 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris Contact Gallery
Sans titre by Joan Miró contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Joan Miró Sans titre, 1949 Ink on paper
59.6 x 38.7 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris Contact Gallery
Composition by Joan Miró contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
Joan Miró Composition, 1929 Charcoal on sandpaper
108.5 x 73 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris Contact Gallery
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