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Joan Miró (1893-1983) | Surrealist painter and sculptor


Joan Miró i Ferrà was a Spanish painter, sculptor and ceramicist born in Barcelona. Earning international acclaim, 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 as a way of supporting bourgeois society, and famously declared an "assassination of painting" in favour of upsetting the visual elements of established painting.


Miro was the son of a watchmaking father and a goldsmith mother, he was exposed to the arts from a very young age. There have been some drawings recovered by Miro dating to 1901, when he was only 8 years old.
Miro enrolled at the School of Industrial and Fine Arts in Barcelona until 1910; during his attendance he was taught by Modest Urgell and Josep Pascó.


After overcoming a serious bout of typhoid fever in 1911, Miro decided to devote his life entirely to painting by attending the school of art taught by Francesc Galí.
He studied at La Lonja School of Fine Arts in Barcelona, and in 1918 set up his first individual exhibition in the Dalmau Galleries, in the same city.
His works before 1920 (the date of his first trip to Paris) reflect the influence of different trends, like the pure and brilliant colors used in Fauvism, shapes taken from cubism, influences from folkloric Catalan art and Roman frescos from the churches.


His trip to Paris introduced him to and developed his trend of surrealist painting. In 1921, he showed his first individual exhibition in Paris, at La Licorne Gallery. In 1928, he exhibited with a group of surrealists in the Pierre Gallery, also in Paris, although Miró was always to maintain his independent qualities with respect to groups and ideologies.
From 1929-1930, Miró began to take interest in the object as such, in the form of collages. This was a practice which was to lead to his making of surrealist sculptures. His tormented monsters appeared during this decade, which gave way to the consolidation of his plastic vocabulary.
He also experimented with many other artistic forms, such as engraving, lithography, watercolors, pastels, and painting over copper. What is particularly highlighted from this period, are the two ceramic murals which he made for the UNESCO building in Paris - The Wall of the Moon and the Wall of the Sun, 1957-59.



It was at the end of the 60´s when his final period was marked and which lasted until his death.
During this time, he concentrated more and more on monumental and public works. He was characterized by the body language and freshness with which he carried out his canvasses, as well as the special attention he paid to material and the stamp he received from informalism. He concentrated his interest on the symbol, not giving too much importance to the representing theme, but to the way the symbol emerged as the piece of work.
Miro had a very eccentric style that is the embodiment of his unique approach to his artwork.
In 1976 the Joan Miró Foundation Centre of Contemporary Art Study was officially opened in the city of Barcelona and in 1979, four years before his death, he was named Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Barcelona.






















Miró, Joan - Pittore (Barcellona 1893 - Palma di Maiorca 1983).
Studiò alla Scuola di belle arti di Barcellona e con F. Galí; frequentò l'ambiente dadaista che ruotava intorno alla personalità di F. Picabia.
Dopo un primo periodo caratterizzato da uno stile drammatico ed espressionista, Miró elaborò una sorta di realismo estatico, venato di un sofisticato primitivismo (La casa con la palma, 1918, coll. priv.; L'orto con l'asino, 1918, Stoccolma, Moderna Museet; Ritratto di fanciulla, 1918, Barcellona, Fundació Miró).
In un primo soggiorno a Parigi (1919) incontrò Picasso e dopo il 1920 passò qui i suoi inverni, frequentando artisti e scrittori d'avanguardia (Jacob, Tzara, Breton, Aragon) e dipingendo opere come l'Autoritratto (1919, Parigi, Mus. Picasso) e varie nature morte che nella geometrizzazione e semplificazione degli oggetti mostrano un'adesione ai metodi cubisti.
Nel 1924 con la Terra arata (New York, Guggenheim Mus.) iniziò uno stile veramente personale; elementi biomorfi, stilizzati, collocati in uno spazio piatto, strutturato in zone orizzontali, trasformano la realtà in un mondo di sogno.



Il mutamento fantastico si completa nel Dialogo d'insetti (1924-25, Parigi, coll. priv.) e nel Carnevale di Arlecchino (1924-25, Buffalo, Albright-Knox Art Gall.).
Nello stesso anno si legò al gruppo surrealista: partecipò poi all'esposizione alla Galleria Pierre (1925); con M. Ernst disegnò costumi e scenarî per Giulietta e Romeo (1926, Balletti russi di S. P. Djagilev).
Continuò la sua pittura onirica rarefacendo gli elementi, che prendono aspetto filiforme e amebico.
Del 1928 è la serie dei famosi Interni olandesi. Apparvero anche i collages e le litografie, più schematici, assai vicini all'arte astratta. Per i Balletti di Montecarlo nel 1932 curò la scenografia di Jeux d'enfants.
Nel 1940 si ritirò a Palma di Maiorca dove terminò la serie delle Costellazioni e si dedicò alle prime ceramiche, per le quali, anche in seguito, ebbe come stretto collaboratore Josep Llorens i Artigas (1892-1980).



Nel 1944 tornò in Francia dove continuò a dipingere e, pur sperimentando nuove tecniche, mantenne della poetica surrealista il gusto del fantastico che nella sua visione poetica, non toccata da problemi di modellato, di prospettiva, di chiaroscuro, rimane allo stadio puro insieme raffinato e artigianale, venato di sottile umorismo.
Tra le opere monumentali: la pittura murale (1950) e il murale in ceramica (1960), per la Harvard University, il Muro del sole e il Muro della luna nella sede dell'UNESCO a Parigi (1958) e il murale per l'aeroporto di Barcellona (1970).
Dal 1975 a Barcellona la Fundació Miró (arch. J. Sert) e dal 1992 a Palma la Fond. Joan e Pilar M. (arch. R. Moneo) oltre ad ospitare opere dell'artista, sono centro di vivaci attività culturali. Nel 1978 gli fu consegnato il premio internazionale Feltrinelli. | © Treccani, Enciclopedia Italiana





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