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I am an established painter but a young sculptor




Spanish painter, sculptor and ceramicist born
in Barcelona (1893) but died in Palma de Mallorca (1983)




Miró’s work has been interpreted as personalized Surrealism, at times veering into Fauvism and Expressionism. Contempt for conventional painting methods which he claimed was a tool of bourgeois society.

“Hirondelle amour” (1933-1934)

Both in painting and sculpture: Result of the artist’s playful, irreverent artistic vision couched in utter simplicity.

Notable interest in the subconscious mind. Consequently, his re-creation of childlike works. His first-ever solo show (Galeries Dalmau, Barcelona, 1918), was ridiculed and defaced.

His first solo exhibition in Paris: Galerie la Licorne, 1921

Ernest Hemingway on Miró’s The Farm: “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.” He would add later:  “No one could look at it and not know it had been painted by a great painter.” Hemmingway bought The Farm.

Miró’s surrealist origins evolved out of “repression” much like all Spanish surrealist work, more so because of his Catalan ethnicity, which was subject to special persecution by the Franco regime.



“Lunar Bird”, modeled in 1945, enlarged in 1966, and cast in 1967

Miró’s sculptures reflect the same childlike imagination manifested in his paintings.

Sculpting: prompted by his lifelong love of experimentation.

His works, cast in bronze, redefined the medium of sculpture.

At 81, he told his friend Alexander Calder: “I am an established painter but a young sculptor.”

Worked initially in ceramic before making works cast in bronze.

Created over three hundred bronzes between 1966 and his death in 1983.


Exhibitions as an indication of Miro’s international acclaim

“Joan Miro L’Harlequin artificier”, Paris

1960s: featured artist in many prestigious art shows, most of which were assembled by the Maeght Foundation that also included works by Marc Chagall, Giacometti, Brach, Cesar, Ubac, and Tal-Coat.

1970s: Large Miró retrospectives in New York, London, Saint-Paul-de-Vence and Paris. Further major retrospectives took place posthumously.
The end of the Franco regime, in 1978, led to the first full exhibition of his paintings and graphic work at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.

October 1986—January 1987: Anthological exhibition, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. The exhibition coincided with another two large exhibits of Miró’s work in Zurich and in Canada, from the Maeght Foundation’s collection.

October 1993–January 1994, MoMA, NY: “Joan Miró”, comprising more than 150 paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, ceramics, and illustrated books, assembled from public and private collections in many parts of the world.

Exhibition at the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona

1993, Miro’s birth centennial: several exhibitions held. Among the most prominent: those held in the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona; the Museum of MoMA, New York; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; the Galerie Lelong, Paris.

2011: Retrospective mounted by the Tate Modern, London, and traveled to Fundació Joan Miró and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

2012: Miró sculpture retrospective exhibition, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Yorkshire, England.

2014, “Miró: From Earth to Sky” at Albertina Museum, Vienna, and “Masterpieces” from the Kunsthaus Zürich, National Art Center, Tokyo.

“Joan Miró: Instinct & Imagination” and “Miró: The Experience of Seeing” held at the Denver Art Museum from 22 March – 28 June 2015, and at the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas, from 30 September 2015 – 10 January 2016 respectively. Exhibited Miró works between 1963 and 1981, on loan from the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.

“Joan Miró: ‘The Ladder of Escape'”, National Gallery of Art, London

October 2018: one of the largest retrospectives devoted to Miró to that date, the Grand Palais, Paris. Included nearly 150 works.

2019: “Joan Miró: Birth of the World” exhibition, the MoMA New York. Showcased 60 pieces of work from the inception of Miró’s career. Includes the influence of World Wars I and II.

January—February 2020: Exhibition “Miró the Sculptor: Elements of Nature”, Acquavella Galleries, NYC, NY.

2021: At least some exhibitions may have been canceled due to the pandemic


Related post: “Art: The Miró Exhibition”




Featured image (Miro sculpture at the Fundació Joan Miró)/bigglesmith, CC BY2.0
Quote mark, Oakus53, CC BY-SA4.0

Miró quote/Barbara, CC BY2.0 via Flickr
“Hirondelle amour”/Mike Steele, CC BY2.0
Lunar Bird/Tim Gage, CC BY-SA2.0
Miró exhibition (“L’Harlequin Artificier”)/Erwan L’HER, CC BY2.0
Painting exhibition at Fundació Joan Miró/Renata Martins, CC BY-SA2.0 cropped
“The Ladder of Escape”/Joe Wolf, CC BY-ND2.0