Joan Miró Ferrà (Barcelona, April 20, 1893 – Palma, Mallorca, December 25, 1983) was a Catalan painter, sculptor, engraver and ceramist, considered one of the greatest representatives of surrealism. In his work he reflected his interest in the subconsciousness and his country. His first works show strong fauvist, cubist and expressionist influences, evolving towards a more flat painting, as is his well-known painting La masia, (1921-1922), which represents family’s summer vacation home in Mont-roig del Camp. After his stay in Paris, his work became more dreamlike, coinciding with the guidelines of surrealism but without ever formally joining this movement. In numerous interviews and writings dating from the 1930s, Miró expressed his desire to abandon conventional painting methods, which in his own words are focused on “killing, murdering or raping”.
Instead he chose a contemporary form of expression, not wanting to bend to the demands or the aesthetics of the methods, not even in his commitments towards the surrealists. Later on, the author shows interest in Japanese-type Zen spirituality and abstract expressionism of the United States. In the 50s he settled in Palma, where he found a shelter and work space, thanks to the workshop built by his friend Josep Lluís Sert. Miró died in Palma at the age of ninety.
One of the spaces where his work is best represented is the Joan Miró Foundation, founded in 1975, and located in Barcelona. It is a cultural and artistic center created to spread the new tendencies of contemporary art, constituted with a large collection of works donated by the author himself. Other important places where his work are funds include: Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation in Palma, Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, MoMA, Reina Sofia Museum, Espacio Miró in Madrid, Guggenheim in New York, Tate Modern in London and Moderna Museet in Stockholm.
Miquel Miró Adzeries, the son of a blacksmith from Cornudella de Montsant, had a jewelry and watches workshop at the gate of number 34 of Carrer Ferran de Barcelona. There he met Dolors Ferrà and Oromí, from Palma, daughter of a Majorcan cabinet maker. They married and established their residence in the passage of Credit, where their two children were born, Joan and Dolors. Joan Josep Miquel Miró i Ferrà was born on April 20, 1893 at nine in the evening, on the first floor, flat number 4 of the Passatge del Crèdit. They named him after his two grandparents, Joan Miró and Joan Ferrà. A year later, on December 9, 1894 his brother, Miquel Josep Trinitat Miró, was born, but he died on May 12, 1895, at five months. On March 16, 1896 a sister was born, Josepa Francesca Trinitat, who would also die soon after. Later, on May 2, 1897, his sister, Dolors Josepa Trinidad, was born.
In 1900 Miró began to attend the Private School of 13 Regomir Street, where he took, among others, drawing classes. He was not a good student. Later, in 1907, at his father’s wish, he began to study commerce, so that he could receive a good education and “become someone in life”. He wished to enroll in night classes at the Llotja Drawing School, his father accepted this wish believing it was just a hobby for the boy. In the Llotja he was influenced by two masters: Modest Urgell and Josep Pascó, as shown by several drawings of the time preserved in the Joan Miró Foundation.
In 1910, at the age of seventeen, he finished his studies of commerce and entered the workforce as an employee at the Casa Dalmau i Oliveres drug store, located at the Paseo de la Industria, 14, today Passeig Picasso. He worked there for two years, until a typhoid fever forced him to return to the family home that his parents had just bought in the village of Mont-roig del Camp, now known as Mas Miró, where he spent two months in bed. It was where the landscape became a clear stimulus to his painting and where Miró took the firm resolution to become a painter, for which, although with reluctance, he obtained paternal permission.
In 1912 he entered the art academy led by Francesc Galí, where he discovered the latest European art trends, he attended in the afternoons from 3pm to 5pm until the center closed down in 1915. At the same time, from 7pm to 9pm, he attended the Artistic Circle of Sant Lluc, where he took nature drawing classes. It was here that Miró discovered his passion for poetry and where he made friends with Josep Francesc Ràfols, Sebastià Gasch, Enric Cristòfor Ricart and Josep Llorens Artigas, with whom later he formed the group “Agrupació Courbet”. Shortly after, he became interested in poetry and avant-garde magazines. In 1916 he met the gallery owner and merchant Josep Dalmau.
It must be said that between 1915 and 1917 Miró had to do the Military Service. He was a soldier of the infantry regiment of Bergara number 57. The episode in which his regiment was called to dissolve the strikers of Barcelona and Sabadell in the autumn of 1917 stands out.
He shared his first workshop with E.C. Ricart on Carrer de l’Arc de Jonqueres and later on Carrer de Sant Pere Baix, 51, which they shared until 1918.
His first individual exhibition took place at the Galeries Dalmau in Barcelona between February 16 and March 3, 1918. It showcased 64 of his works including paintings, watercolors and pastels, made between 1914 and 1917. These first paintings have a clear influence of the French tendencies: Impressionism, Fauvism and Cubism. In the paintings Ciurana, el poble (1917) and Ciurana, l’església (1917), we can see a similarity of colors to Van Gogh and landscapes to Cézanne, reinforced with a dark brushstroke, as well as influence of Van Dongen’s and Gleizes. Another interesting painting is Nord-Sud (1917), named after the French magazine where in 1917 Pierre Reverdy wrote on Cubism. In this painting, Miró mixes the drawings of Cézanne with the inclusion of signs in painting, such as in the Cubist works by Juan Gris or Pablo Picasso. In other works, such as the Portrait of V. Nubiola, he shows the fusion of Cubism with aggressive fauvist coloring. Josep Maria Junoy presented the exhibition with a diptych where on the cover there was a calligram created with the word Miró, it read: «forta pictòrica Matèria Impregnada d’una Refractabilitat cOngestionant». The reaction of the criticism was diverse and Miró only managed to sell one work Natura morta de molinet de cafè, which Josep Mompou acquired for 250 pesetas.
In the spring of 1918, between May 10 and June 30, he participated in the first collective exhibition of the brand new Agrupació Courbet, which took place at the Sant Lluc Artistic Circle within the Exhibition Municipal de Primavera.
Mont-roig del Camp
Like every summer throughout his life, Miró spent the summer of 1918 in Mont-roig del Camp, where he abandoned the colors and hard forms used until then for other more detailed ones. He explains it in a letter addressed to his friend Ricart, dated July 16, 1918:
«No simplifications or abstractions. For now, what is most interesting to me is the calligraphy of a tree or a roof, leaf by leaf, twig by twig, grass by grass, tile by tile. This does not mean that these landscapes ultimately end up being cubist or racially synthetic. Anyway, we’ll see. What I am proposing is to spend a lot of time working on the canvas and leave each one as finished as possible, so that at the end of the season and after having worked hard even if I have only a few paintings; it doesn’t matter. The following winter the critics will continue to say that I persist in my disorientation.»
In the landscapes painted during this time, an archetype is observed through a new vocabulary of meticulously selected and organized iconographies and signs, the drawing being the structuring agent. For example, in the vineyards and olive groves of Mont Roig you can see the roots, which are drawn under the ground, completely individualized; trying to obtain the physical connection with the Earth. In Mont-roig Miró becomes aware of the idea of primitivism, present in the cultural roots of the country, in medieval art and popular art, thanks to the contact with nature, which lets him relate to everyday objects that will serve as basis for his projects and technical and formal investigations.
In February 1920, Joan Miró made his first trip to Paris. He stayed at the Hotel de Rouen. He visited the main museums and art galleries. He also went to see Picasso and other prominent painters. After spending the summer in Mont-roig, in February 1921 he returned to the French capital, this time with the aim to settle in the city. According to Miró, his Parisian stay liberated him “not only from the Cubism I learnt in Barcelona but also, thanks to the influence of my friends, poets and surrealist painters, of conventional themes such as still life, portrait and realistic landscape».
Thanks to the intervention of his friend Papitu Artigas, he got the sculptor Pablo Gargallo to temporarily let him the workshop he had at rue Blomet. Gargallo only used it during the summer months, while Miró took advantage of it during the winter season. The efforts made by the gallery owner Josep Dalmau i Rafel secured him an individual exhibition at the Galerie La Licorne which opened on April 29, 1921. Despite not selling any of the works, the criticism was favorable. Picasso showed interest in one of his works the Autoretrat and Miró gave it to him in appreciation for his recommendations to Parisian critics and merchants. In this exhibition, the changes in his work could already be observed, he was progressively abandoning various conventions.
In the neighborhood of Montparnasse he met the artistic community that grouped there, among others, André Masson, who was his neighbour at the studio at Blomet Street and with whom he coincided in the meetings with Max Jacob. He then met Dadaism and Surrealism artists with the poet André Breton at their forefront. The meeting was decisive for the progress of his work. When friends formed the surrealist group, Miró was very close to it, without, however, ever getting to form part of it. Nonetheless, as of 1925, his works were displayed in most of the exhibitions of the group. Miró was more attracted and influenced by the group of poets than by the group of painters. He made friends with people like Desnos, Éluard, Aragon, Leiris, and was passionate about reading works by Rimbaud, Lautréamont, Baudelaire and Apollinaire, among many others.
«Rue Blomet was a turning point. I found there everything that I am. First of all it was friendship, exchange and discovery exalted through a group of wonderful friends» – Joan Miró.
Throughout 1921 and 1922, over nine months of hard work, Joan Miró painted La masia, which would be the culminating work of his “detailing” period. The mythical relationship maintained by Miró with the earth is summed up in this painting, which represents Mas Miró, the farmhouse of his family in Mont-roig. The realistic expression of all objects, domestic animals and plants with which humans work and relate to, as well as other everyday objects, should be noted. With La masia (1921-22), a painting of almost spectral detailing, culminated his period of direct observation of reality.
Progressively Miró abandoned his magical realism period and synthesized the magic already established in this stage. From the realism of La Masia he went to the fantasy overflow with The Harlequin’s Carnival (1924-25), a work full of figures and symbols. It is in the unconscious and the dreamlike potential that surrealism offered him, where Miró found the material suitable for his future works. This can be found in La terra lllaurada, with a clear reference to La Masia, but with surrealistic elements such as an eye and an ear next to a tree. The Harlequin’s Carnival had a great success at the collective exhibition of the surrealist Painting at the Pierre Gallery in Paris, premiered on November 14, 1925, exhibited alongside the works of Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Klee, Man Ray, Pablo Picasso and Max Ernst. On April 1, 1925, he signed a contract with Jacques Viot, from Galerie Pierre, who would pay 1500 francs per month in exchange for all his artistic production.
Viot wanted to promote Miró’s career by organizing a big exhibition between June 12 and 27, 1925. The text was the responsibility of Benjamin Péret, and he ensured that the letter of invitation to vernissage was signed by the main promoters of surrealism. The exhibition took place at number 13 of the rue Bonaparte, and the inauguration was attended by the main authorities of the moment and so many people attended that there was a queue on the street.
Picasso commissioned a cobla of sardanas that livened up the wait, as a gift to his Catalan friend. This exhibition meant a relaunch of Miró’s career.
From The Harlequin’s Carnival Miró abandoned the landscapes as a source of inspiration and began to gain inspiration from mental states, such as hallucinations. The works he made between 1925 and 1927, known as paintings of dreams and imaginary landscapes, offer extremely flat monochrome backgrounds with strokes of almost hieroglyphic signs. Sometimes they were inscriptions that looked like short poems.
In 1927 he moved to another large studio on Tourlaque Street, where he met with old friends such as Max Ernst and Paul Éluard, and got to know Pierre Bonnard, René Magritte and Jean Arp. He experimented with Yves Tanguy, Man Ray and Max Morise in the game of exquisite corpse. It was at this time when he began to discover engravings with a dry point.
They were years of great creative productivity, which culminated, with remarkable success of criticism and sales. In his individual exhibition of May 1928 at the Georges Bernheim gallery in Paris, MoMA acquired 2 works and the University of New York acquired Dog barking at the moon. Progressively many great art collectors started to acquire his works.
With the exhibition at Bernheim, another stage in Miró’s career ended. A day after the inauguration, Miró made a trip of about 15 days around Belgium and the Netherlands, where he visited the most important museums in the country. The Dutch painters, Vermeer and the masters of the 17th century, had a great impact on the artist, who bought colored postcards of their paintings and, on his return to Paris, devoted himself to the creation of a series called Dutch Interiors, inspired by the masters of the past. In this series Miró transformed the paintings of his surrealistic dreams, with an empty space in which the main place was taken by graphics, the recovery of composition in perspective and forms. Very similar to the Dutch Interiors was the series that followed, called Imaginary Portraits.
It was alsoinspired by portraits already made: Retrat de la senyora Mills el 1750, based on a painting of the same title by George Engleheart, Retrat d’una dama del 1820 by John Constable and Rafael Sanzio’s La fornarina. The fourth one of this series had its origin in an advertisement of a diesel engine from a newspaper, which he then transformed until he got a female figure which he entitled Queen Louise of Prussia. Miró used the image not to make an interpretation of a work already made, rather as a starting point to analyze the pure form. The making process of each painting can be followed by an analysis of the preparatory drawings that are conserved, some at the Joan Miró Foundation and others at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The break with surrealism and the “assassination” of painting
During those years, Miró talked about killing the painting and moving away from it. It was a period of radicalization that coincided with some important biographical events: On October 12, 1929, he married Pilar Juncosa in the parish of Sant Nicolau de Palma. They spent their honeymoon at the Hotel Illa d’Or, in Pollença and later in Marseille. Shortly after, on July 17, 1930, his daughter, Maria Dolors, was born.
Between 1928 and 1930, the differences within the group of the surrealists became more and more evident, not only in the field of plastic art but also in politics. Miró gradually distanced himself from the group, despite accepting the principles of surrealistic aesthetics. He also did not feel obliged to participate in all the demonstrations. On March 11, 1929, at a meeting in the Bar du Château, with Breton already connected to the communist party, an argument arose about the fate of Lev Trotsky; this topic was finally sidelined and the discussion moved to the clarification of each one’s position. Among those who spoke out against a common action based on a Breton program were Miró, Michel Leiris, Georges Bataille, and André Masson. Miró just wanted to defend himself and fight through painting. Between the positions of Karl Marx, who advocated “transforming the world” through politics, and Rimbaud’s who wished to “change lives” through poetry, Miró chose the second. It was then that Georges Hugnet explained that Miró can only defend himself with his own weapon, which is the painting:
“Yes, Miró wanted to assassinate the painting, he killed it with plastic media, through a plastic art that is one of the most expressive of our time. Perhaps he has done it because he did not want to bend to the demands of painting, its aesthetics, or a program that was too narrow to give way to his aspirations.”
From that point on, Miró devoted himself intensely to drawing and another alternative – the collage. However, he did not use the collage as the Cubists did, by carefully cutting out the paper and attaching it onto the base, instead, his pieces were uneven and once glued to the support he left the edges in the air and added graphics. His search was not in vain, it led him to pieces that he would make from 1930 onwards.
In 1930 he exhibited sculpture-objects at the Pierre de Paris gallery, and he had his first solo exhibition at the Valentine Gallery in New York, with paintings from 1926-1929. He made his first lithographs for the book L’arbre des voyageurs (The Travelers’ Tree), by Tristan Tzara.
In the summer of 1930, he started the series called Constructions, a consequence of the collages. He made the composition from basic shapes, circles and squares cut out of wood and glued to the base, usually also made of wood, with the addition of nails that strengthened the lines of the picture. All these pieces were exhibited in 1931 at the Galerie Pierre in Paris, where they were seen by the dancer and choreographer Léonide Massine, who then realized that Miró was the artist he was looking for to do the stage design for Jeux d’enfants ballet.
Miró accepted the offer and travelled to Monte Carlo in February 1932. Once there, he made the sets based on volumes and various moving objects. The play premiered on April 14, 1932, with great success, later it staged in Paris, London and, on May 18, 1933, at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.
Return to Catalonia
The end of the contract with the merchant Pierre Loeb, the economic crisis caused by the New York stock market crash of 1929, the birth of his daughter Dolors and the delicate health of his mother triggered Miró’s decision to leave Paris and relocate to Barcelona in early 1932. He spends the summers at the house built by his parents in Mont-roig del Camp and frequently goes to Paris.
In Barcelona, he was part of the Friends of the Art Nouveau (ADLAN) association along with his friends Joan Prats, Joaquim Gomis and Josep Lluís Sert. The aim of the association was to raise awareness of the international artistic avant-garde and promote the Catalan avant-garde. In 1934 Pierre Matisse became his merchant. During this period he held numerous exhibitions in Barcelona, Paris, London (the International Surrealist Exhibition of 1936), New York and Berlin.
He continued his research and created the Divuit Pintures segons un collage (Eighteen Paintings based on a collage) inspired by images of ads in newspapers, as the artist later commented:
“I used to cut out irregular shapes from newspapers and glue them on sheets of paper; day after day I accumulated these forms. Once done, the collages served as a starting point for the paintings. I did not copy the collages, I simply let them suggest me new forms”.
Miró created new characters with very dramatic expressions, in a perfect symbiosis between the signs and the figures. The background is generally dark, painted on masonite and copper, as can be seen in Man and Woman in front of a pile of excrement (1935), or Woman and dog in front of a moon (1936), surely inspired by the mood of the artist facing the events that preceded the Spanish Civil War. As he later explained, he wanted to “transcend the boundaries of the easel and approach, through painting, the human masses, of whom I have never stopped thinking.”
Civil War and World War II
When the Spanish Civil War broke out, Miró was in Paris, preparing for an exhibition scheduled for November 1936, he decided to settle there again, he managed to bring his wife and daughter also. With the background drama of the Spanish war, he felt the need to repaint the reality, which the artist turned to in the work Still Life with Old Shoe, considered a key piece of this realistic period. Another prominent piece of this period is his Self Portrait, currently at the MoMA.
Miró supported the Republican side during the Civil War. He made the poster Aidez l’Espagne (Help Spain), to be edited in the form of a postal stamp intended to help the Spanish republican government. He was also commissioned to paint a large work for the pavilion of the Second Spanish Republic at the 1937 Paris International Exhibition, which opened in July of the same year. The other artists that also exhibited in this pavilion included Picasso with the famous Guernica, Alexander Calder with Mercury Fountain, Juli González with the sculpture Montserrat and Alberto Sánchez with a sculpture El Poble Espanyol té un Camí que Condueix una Estrella. Miró painted The Reaper (Catalan peasant in revolt), where he represented the Catalan farmer holding a sickle in his hand in a revolutionary gesture, symbolizing the collectivity of an entire struggling population. This work disappeared when the pavilion was disassembled at the end of the exhibition. It was sent to Valencia, the last Republican stronghold on the peninsula, and there its trace is lost. There are only some black and white photographs of it left.
Before the outbreak of World War II, the atmosphere in Paris was increasingly tense. Between 1940 and 1941 the Miró family spent a season in Varengeville-Sur-Mer, off the coast of Normandy, in the house of their friend, the architect Paul Nelson. It was a space close to nature, as the landscapes of Mallorca or Mont-roig to which Miró was used. When he found out about the fall of Barcelona into the hands of the Francoists, he created the Barcelona Series.
At Varengeville-Sur-Mer he was drawn to the sky and began to paint a series of 23 small works with the generic title of Constellations. He made them in a 38×46 cm format, with paper support that the artist moistened with gasoline and rubbed to create a rough texture. Then he added the colour, maintaining certain transparency to get the desired final look. On this base, Miró drew with very pure colours for contrast. In the Constellations, iconography is meant to represent the order of the cosmos: the stars refer to the heavenly world, the characters symbolize the Earth, and the birds are the union of the two. These paintings seamlessly integrate figures with the background. Through his use of colours, he achieves an effect of maximum aggressiveness using acid and violent tones. He managed to take the works out from the country, and exhibit the Constellations in the United States, using a diplomatic bag of a friend from the Brazilian Embassy, João Cabral de Melo Neto.
Post-war and Francoism
In the spring of 1941, because of World War II, he decided to return with his family to Catalonia. They stayed in Quintanes de Voltregà, on the estate of his brother in law, who recommended that they should go to Mallorca. The Miró family settled in Calle Minyones 11, Palma, in a house of the Juncosa. Miró knew the island through his maternal grandparents and his mother. According to Miró, he was only ‘Pilar’s husband’ there:
“In Perpignan, I was fortunate enough to find a Spanish anti-Franco consul, who immediately got me a passport. When I arrived in Figueres I was shaking with fear when the police checked if my name was on the list of those registered. Joan Prats came to pick me up in Girona and recommended that I hide in Palma because he feared that in Barcelona I would be detained. In Mallorca everything was perfect: I went unnoticed as I was only ‘Pilar’s husband’. Moreover, the people were already sick of the dictatorship that had been going on since 1936 and that is why the atmosphere was so nice.”
In 1942 he decided to move to Barcelona again, in order to take care of his mother, who was very fragile. At that time Miró developed an intimate friendship with the photographer Joaquim Gomis and became friends with the dancer Vicente Escudero.
The same year, a major retrospective of his work was inaugurated at the MoMA in New York, which meant his international eminence, being one of the first major exhibitions of European art in the United States since the beginning of World War II.
It is at this time that Miró began to work with new materials such as ceramics, thanks to his collaboration with Josep Llorens Artigas. His mother died shortly after, on May 27, 1944. In 1947 he went to the United States, where he accepted an order to paint a large mural at the Terrace Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati. There he came in contact with early American abstract expressionists, such as Jackson Pollock and Arshile Gorky.
In 1948, Miró returned to the French capital, where he had a solo exhibition at the gallery of a young Aimé Maeght, which took place thanks to Tristan Tzara. Following this trip, Maeght became Miró’s merchant and a period where he set aside painting to concentrate on sculpture, engraving and ceramics began. Later, in 1949, members of the new Dau al Set group organized an exhibition of Miró’s work in Barcelona, to pay a small local tribute. This exhibition took place in Laietanes Galleries. However, Miró avoided participating in any official Spanish exhibitions as a protest against Franco’s regime.
At that time, Miró sold the estate on the Passatge del Crèdit and settled temporarily on Folgueroles Street. With the money from the sale, they bought a house on the outskirts of Palma, Son Abrines, and Sert built him a workshop there. At that time he remained active as a ceramic muralist, with commissions such as the Murals of the Sun and the Moon for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris (1957-1958), among others. In 1958 he also won the Guggenheim Prize, which enabled him to also acquire the Son Boter estate, located next to Son Abrines, which had been his initial wish.
From 1960 onwards, Miró began a new phase in which he expressed ease and simplicity in the way he drew the graphics. The thick outlines are made in black, and splashes and drops of paint appear on his canvases, alluding repeatedly to his subjects: earth, sky, birds and woman, usually in primary colours.
Despite the recognition, Miró continued to work. During the sixties, he made several monochrome canvases reminiscent of some of the works of the 1920s, but now of enormous sizes, such as Blau I, II and III. He also accentuated the presence of black, in a kind of tense combat with colour, for example in the Messages from a friend (1964).
Public praise did not diminish his combative spirit. In 1968 Barcelona officially reconciled with Miró, organizing a large retrospective of his work at the Hospital de la Santa Creu de Barcelona to celebrate the artist’s 75th birthday, in collaboration with the Maeght Foundation; Miró did not attend the inauguration because he did not want to meet with Minister Manuel Fraga. The exhibition took place between November 1968 and January 1969 and would be the source of the donations that Miró would later make to the city of Barcelona. In 1969, the work The other Miró was presented in Barcelona at the Col•legi d’Arquitectes, where the artist painted the building’s windows and then destroyed his own work with solvent. It was one of the first claims to ephemeral nature in the country’s artistic practices, as well as an implicit critique of the regime’s ignorance. It was applauded by artists as they began to forge the new behaviours of the conceptual generation.
During the sixties and seventies, Miró continued to question painting as a valid language for representing reality and continued his research on the objectual nature of painting. He did this by cutting and making holes in the canvas that revealed the underlying support material, inviting the viewer to look through – and beyond – the surface of the painting. He complemented these lacerated, burned etc. canvases, with object-paintings.
In 1970 his daughter Dolors suffered a serious car accident. For the care she received, Miró presented the Red Cross of Tarragona with the work Tapestry of Tarragona. This experience opened a new phase in which, in collaboration with Josep Royo, he created volume tapestries or sobreteixims. Between 1970 and 1980 they made 7 large-format tapestries and 32 small-format tapestries. An event that attracted much attention, at the time, was the action of the burning of his own works. He explained it by saying: “To all those who see in those works only the rising value of money and for those who think only about stocks and prices. Well, hello! I destroy and burn all that for them is millions, let them go to the devil”.
Joan Miró imagined a pioneering space bringing contemporary art to the general public and supporting young art in Barcelona, which in real life became the Joan Miró Foundation. He observed existing European institutions such as the London Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), which he knew well because of his friendship with one of its founders, Roland Penrose. ICA from its founding in 1948, by civil society and members of the British cultural sector, functioned as a broad-spectrum art centre. Miró imagined his Foundation as a contemporary art centre, not a museum. This is crucial to understand how the Foundation, from the very beginning, became a source of contemporary culture within its local platform as the Center for the Study of Contemporary Art, a non-profit organization, where the figure of Joan Miró inspired it to become an unprecedented cultural experiment. The building opened to the public on June 10, 1975.
In 1978 he collaborated in the play Mori el Merma (1978), an innovative theatrical performance inspired by Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi. In 1981 he created the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation in Palma, with the aim of providing the city with a cultural and artistic centre. In 1983, the Dona i ocell sculpture was revealed in his hometown. A few months later, on December 25, 1983, the painter died in Palma, he was ninety years old. The funeral was held, on the 27th, at the Church of Sant Nicolau, in Palma, the same one where he got married years before. On December 29, he was buried in Barcelona, at the Montjuïc cemetery, a short distance from the Foundation that bears his name.
According to Rosa Maria Malet, director of the Joan Miró Foundation, his work oscillates between passionate commitment and contemplative isolation. Miró debated compromise and evasion. Catalan identity is visible through all his work, somehow linked to the cultural transgression of surrealism. While his early works may analyze the concept of identity, from the 30s onwards his work is marked by the word freedom.
The deep meaning of Joan Miró’s work is born of a desire to achieve what is typical of human beings. For Miró, this meant an affirmation of identity, which arises from intimate contact with the earth, with Mont-roig, the primordial place of creation. Paradoxically, this longing is only possible through the constant transgression and revision of one’s own creation, which, in the Parisian avant-garde dialectic and in a century marked by cruel conflicts, has the context for its materialization. The artist’s will takes on a dimension that goes beyond the individual realm to become universal. Miró aspires to anonymous, collective art, which explains the multidisciplinary nature of his work and the involvement of collaborators to carry it out.
● Peasant: Several of his works have to do with the peasantry. Miró grew up in an urban environment but from his adolescence, he would spend almost every summer in Mas Miró in Mont-roig del Camp. Peasant represents a kind of primitive soul, of a timeless Catalonia and by extension, he represents the land and the strength of the territory. It appears especially in his works from the period between 1910 and 1930 but is present throughout his career. Hat in his works often symbolises freedom.
● Universal Catalan: For Miró to be Catalan was to be modern, European and open. Despite never positioning himself in favour of any party, Miró had sympathy for the Catalan left. Miró argued that a nation is defined by its people, its language and its cultural traditions, and not by the political elites, for whom he had little or no sympathy.
● Routine: Miró was a painter who especially loved order and routine. He followed a very methodical way of working, painting in the morning, exercising and receiving visits at midday and painting again in the afternoon, until well into the evening. In a letter to Pierre Loeb in 1945 Miró states: “During these tragic years I have not stopped painting for a single day, and thanks to this I have been able to keep my balance, I have been able to keep my feet on the ground; if I had not I would have sunk and it would have been a catastrophe.”
● Activism: Miró saw an artist as a person with a special civic responsibility. During his investiture speech as an honorary doctor at UB, he said: I understand that an artist is someone who, in the silence of others, uses his voice to say something, and has an obligation that this is not something useless but something that serves others. The fact of being able to say something, when most people have no possibility to express themselves, forces that voice to be somewhat prophetic. Let it be, in a way, the voice of the community … When an artist speaks in an environment where freedom is restricted, he turns each of his works into a denial of denials, a detachment of all the oppressions, all the prejudices and all the false established values.
● Earth: “It is the Earth, the Earth is stronger than me. Great mountains play a very important part of my life, and the sky too. (…) it is the shock of these forms in my spirit, rather than the vision itself. In Mont-roig it is the force that nourishes me, the strength.”
In an art environment dominated by Noucentisme, Miró’s early paintings show an eclectic style, which includes Cubist facets with fauvist colours and Cézanne’s solidity with lines typical of futurism. He learnt from artists exiled to Barcelona and Catalan and French avant-garde exhibitions and magazines. The willingness, widely shared by the avant-garde, to go beyond the formal and representative conventions of poetry and painting is a challenge for Miró. In the early 1920s, Picasso and cubism were his references. He is drawn, immediately, to the excitement of literary discussions within the group of rue Blomet in Paris, where he has his studio, next to that of André Masson. This stage marks a turning point that will reaffirm the artist’s connection to surrealism. The aspiration to merge painting and poetry has its maximum expression in a set of monochrome, open-field canvases that oppose the mimicry of representation. The distrusts of Breton and the surrealists in the painting motivate an even more virulent response in Miró, whose intention is to “kill” the painting from within, by forcing it to coexist with other elements like the collage. This revolt had to lead him to a “pure” painting that could answer the spirit of the moment.
The “assassination” of the painting also implies, in Miró, an overcoming of the individualistic conception of art: “No school, no artist interests me, really none. Only the anonymous, the one that comes out of the unconscious effort of the mass.” This desire for collective and public art is reiterated by Miró throughout his career. He does not give up the easel painting, which he sees as poetic, but he keeps questioning it. He wants to reach “the masses” by exploring other means of expression, some he knew already, such as ballet, engraving or lithograph; others, such as sculpture or ceramics he adopted in Mont-roig (in collaboration with Josep Llorens Artigas), after a forced exile due to the civil war. At the same time, he becomes interested in mural painting, the integration of the arts in architecture and any artistic manifestation that reflects the anonymous character that Miró associated with the great masters of ancient times. In Palma, where he moved in 1956, he found a new refuge. Finally, he has a spacious workshop, designed by Josep Lluís Sert, and the privacy of his estate, Son Boter.
● 1917 – North-South, oil on canvas, Maeght Gallery, Paris
● 1921-1922 – The Farm, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington
● 1921 – Portrait of a Spanish dancer, oil on canvas, Musée Picasso, Paris
● 1923 – The Tilled Field, oil on canvas, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
● 1924-1925 – Harlequin’s Carnival, oil on canvas, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
● 1928 – Dutch interiors, oil on canvas, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art and New York Museum of Modern Art
● 1928 – Femme nue couchée, gouache on paper, Moderna Museet, Stockholm
● 1934 – Snail Woman Flower Star, Queen Sofia Museum, Madrid
● 1937 – Still Life with Old Shoe, Museum of Modern Art, New York
● 1937 – The Reaper (also known as Catalan peasant in revolt), Pavilion of the Republic, Paris
● 1938 – A Star Caresses the Breast of a Negro Woman, oil on canvas, Tate Gallery, London
● 1940-1941 – Constellations, series of 23 gouaches
● 1961 – Blue I, Blue II and Blue III, oil on canvas, Center Georges Pompidou, Paris
● 1968 – Character in Front of the Sun, acrylic on canvas, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona
● 1972 – Woman and Birds at Sunrise
● 1974 – The Hope of a Condemned Man, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona
Around the 1930s, Miró considered collage as the basis for a transformative model of painting, through drawing-collage and collage-painting. This technique offers a new method for generating images from paper fragments. The result is enigmatic, reminiscent of the primitive cave painting or children’s drawings, which is sometimes misinterpreted as abstract, a connection that the artist rejected. Miró explained this process in an interview with James Johnson Sweeney, in 1948: “I used to cut out irregular shapes from newspapers and glue them on sheets of paper; day after day I accumulated these forms. Once done, the collages served as a starting point for the paintings. I did not copy the collages, I simply let them suggest new forms”. In the 1940s, Miró would continue to use more and more unusual materials and supports, usually not associated with the fine arts, such as chipboard, metal fragments, fibre cement, and so forth. The artist thus violates conventional approaches to painting by incorporating other materials or selecting unusual formats, denying the traditional function of art as an illusion, and at the same time affirming its material condition as an object. This experiment later led him to the world of ceramics and sculpture.
In 1917 Joan Miró and Josep Llorens Artigas became friends in the Artistic Circle of Sant Lluc, to the point that it was Artigas who hosted Miró during his first trip to Paris in 1920. They lost contact for a few years, for professional reasons, but in 1942 Artigas gave an exhibition in Barcelona that aroused Miró’s interest in ceramics. Thus starting a new period of Miró’s art, he created several ceramic works with Llorens Artigas and later, from 1955, with Joan Gardy Artigas.
In 1944 he began to collaborate with his old friend in the production of ceramics, researching the composition of pastes, earth, enamels and colours, in Artigas’s workshop, the “Pepito”. The shape of common pottery was a source of inspiration to Miró. In his early ceramics, there is little difference between them and the paintings and lithographs of the same period. Miró simply decorates the works made by Artigas. Dupin regards this period from 1944-1946 as an essay production. Between 1953 and 1956, he developed such an intense collaboration with Artigas that he almost abandoned painting to devote himself entirely to this activity. For him, the ceramics represent a return to the essence, with primary materials and a technique that was completely new to him. Around the same time, Artigas leaves the workshop located on Juli Verne Street in Barcelona and settles in Gallifa, in an 18th-century house. It reminds Miró of his childhood in Mont-roig del Camp. Around this time they make creations such as antiplates and various invented or encountered shapes. Miró agreed with the positions of the GATCPAC, which sought to better integrate the arts.
In 1947 he lived in New York for eight months, where he painted a 3×10 meters mural for the Terrace Plaza Hotel’s restaurant, while also making illustrations for the book L’antitête by Tristan Tzara. Later, in Catalonia, he spent some time in the farmhouse-workshop owned by the Artigas in Gallifa, where, with Llorens Artigas’s son, Joan Gardy Artigas, they did all sorts of experiments, both in firing and enamelling. As a result, 232 works were exhibited in June 1956 at the Maeght Gallery in Paris and later at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York.
In 1956 Miró moved to Mallorca, where he had a new workshop with 4,000 square meters of land, designed by his friend the architect Josep Lluís Sert. It was then that he was commissioned to make two ceramic murals for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, 3×15 meters and 3×7.5 meters, inaugurated in 1958. Although he had previously worked in large formats, he never did it in ceramics. With the help of ceramist Josep Llorens Artigas, he was able to find the technical feasibility of firing ceramics in a way that allowed to obtain a base with a texture resembling that of paintings of the time. The composition was to be based on the themes of the “Sun” and the “Moon”, which, in the words of Miró:
“.. the idea of a large red disk imposes itself for the larger wall. Its replica on the smaller wall would be a blue fourth crescent, dictated by the smaller, more intimate, space. These two shapes that I wanted to be very colourful needed to be complemented by relief work. Certain elements of the building, such as the shape of the windows, have inspired the compositions in terms of scale and the shapes of the characters. On the large wall, I have sought a brutal expression, while on the small a poetic suggestion.”
These ceramic murals done for UNESCO were the beginning for many that followed. In 1960 Miró made ceramic murals at Harvard Graduate Center to replace the painting he had made there ten years earlier. In 1964 he made one at the HandelsHochschule of Sankt Gallen, in Switzerland. In 1968, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Maeght Foundation in Saint-Paul-de-Vence. In 1970, one was completed for Barcelona Airport and another for the Osaka International Exhibition. In 1972 he did one for the Kunsthaus Zürich and another for the Cinémathèque Française which however, was never installed there and in 1977 was purchased by the Foral Diputación de Alava; currently installed inside the Basque Center-Museum of Contemporary Art in Vitoria-Gasteiz (ARTIUM). In 1976 he made the mural for IBM in Barcelona and another one for the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum in Ludwigshafen, and in 1978 one for the new Congress Center in Madrid.
Also in 1982, in collaboration with Joan Gardy Artigas, he made the Dona i Ocell, a concrete sculpture covered with ceramics, for the city of Barcelona. Inaugurated in 1983 in Miró’s absence, due to his poor health. Located in the park of Joan Miró in Barcelona, at the foot of a large artificial pond, the 22 meters high sculpture represents a female form in a hat on top of which sits a bird. The woman’s silhouette is fixed with an elongated, hollow leaf shape. It is covered with red, yellow, green and blue trencadís.
In 1946 he worked on sculptures for bronze casting, which in some cases were coated years later with brightly coloured paint. In the field of sculpture Miró sought to find volume, space and to incorporate every day and found objects, such as stones, roots, cutlery, shells, which he melted in lost-wax. The sense of identifiable objects is lost when they merge with other objects through casting. Since the early 1960s, Miró has increasingly positioned the object as a central component of his poetic language, in particular, through his work on the bronze sculpture. He used objects as visual metaphors in this new poetic expression. This may be considered the period of Miró’s greatest commitment to sculpture. At the same time, his interest in the object leads to a profound change in his approach to painting and collage. The artist reviews his discourse on the “murder” of painting, which was so central to his work of the 1930s. Gradually, Miró diversified into areas beyond painting, like interventions in the public sphere, actions, monumental and public sculpture, etc. Miró’s sculpture can be understood as a three-dimensional collage. Like his paintings, his sculptures are not conceived in conventional terms.
Thus, in 1967, he made The Wind Clock, a work he created from a cardboard box and a spoon, cast in bronze and assembled as a sculptural object that measures the intensity of the wind.
With the collaboration of Josep Llorens Artigas, he built La deessa de la mar, a large ceramic sculpture that they later submerged in the sea at Juan-les-Pins. Since 1965 he has produced a large number of sculptures for the Maeght Foundation, in Sant Pau de Vença; among them the Lunar bird, Solar bird and Dona amb el Cabell Revolt. Between 1971 and 1972 he held sculpture exhibitions at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Cleveland Art Museum and the Chicago Art Institute. In 1975, a sculpture was presented for the Chicago Skyscraper depicting a huge yellow woman with a large black vagina; members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spilled on it several buckets of paint in protest.
In April 1981, a 12-meter tall sculpture, known as Miss Chicago, was inaugurated in Chicago, and on November 6, two more sculptures were placed in Palma. In 1982, the Personage and Birds sculpture was inaugurated in Houston.
Important sculpture works
● 1930-1931 – Personatge with umbrella, a sculpture made with wood, umbrella and dried leaves, Joan Miró Foundation (Replica, 1973)
● 1946-1949 – Lunar bird, bronze (several copies)
● 1946-1949 – Solar bird, bronze (several copies)
● 1967 – Wind clock, bronze
● 1967 – The Caress of a Bird, painted bronze, Joan Miró Foundation
● 1973 – Bottle Woman, bronze, Viera y Clavijo Cultural Park of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
● 1974 – Dog, bronze, Joan Miró Foundation, Barcelona
● 1978 – Monumental set for La Défense, Paris
● 1981 – Miss Chicago, public sculpture, Chicago
● 1981 – Femme, bronze, City Hall, Barcelona
● 1983 – Dona i Ocell, concrete sculpture covered with ceramics, Joan Miró Park, Barcelona
Stage design work
Miró’s first contact with the world of theatre was in 1926 when with Max Ernst he painted the sets of the Romeo and Juliet ballet with choreography by Bronislava Nijinska for the Russian Ballet. In 1932 he made the stage design (scenery, curtain and costumes) for the Jeux d’enfants ballet. He also collaborated with Spanish and Catalan choreographers, such as Vicente Escudero and Juan Magriñà, for whom he designed the costumes for the show Harlequin. In 1978, he collaborated with the independent theatre group La Claca, together they designed the stage, masks, and large puppets for the play Morí el Merma, inspired by King Ubu play, by Alfred Jarry.
His collaboration with the independent theatre included the production of the poster For a Theater in Catalonia, in 1973, with the four bars of the flag and a handwritten text. Miró admired circus, theatre and popular culture, and precisely thanks to performing arts, in particular, his participation in Morí el Merma by La Claca, he went from not being widely accepted, rather being mocked and criticised, to be greatly valued by his fellow citizens.
Public and monumental work
Miró was always interested in prints, his first prints are from 1933. In 1947, during his trip to New York, he worked for a while at Atelier 17, led by Stanley William Hayter, through whom he increased his knowledge of chalcography.
During those months in New York he made the plates for Le Désésanto, one of the three volumes of L’antitête by Tristan Tzara. A year later, he collaborated with Tzara again on a new book, Parler seul, making 72 color lithographs.
After collaborating on these works, he has contributed to several publications of collector books together with his poet friends. With Breton he collaborated on Anthology of Black Humor (1950) and La clé des champs (1953); with René Cher, on Fête des trees et du chasseur (1948) and A la santé du serpent (1954); with Michel Leiris on Bagatelles végétales (1956); and with Paul Éluard, on A toute épreuve with eighty woodcuts. These works were completed between 1947 and 1958. Five years later, he made five etchings for a collectors book, Cop de poma, in which Joan Brossa collaborated with the idea and the texts, Antoni Tàpies with the cover, Josep Maria Mestres Quadreny with the score, Moisès Villèlia with a sculpted clasp, Aimé Maeght with the printing of the images, Ricard Giralt Miracle with one of the texts, Enric Climent with the music, Joan Pol with the binding and Joan Prats with the edition.
In 1967 he began working on the technique of carborundum engraving, invented by Henri Goetz. Miró combined this technique with other more traditional ones.
In 1969, he had a solo exhibition, “Oeuvre gravé et lithographié”, in the Gérald Cramer gallery in Geneva, and a retrospective exhibition of his graphic work at Pasadena Art Museum of Pasadena (California).
● 1930 – Tristan Tzara: The Tree of Travelers, four lithographs
● 1933 – Georges Hugnet: Enfances, three engravings
● 1948 – Henry Miller: The smile at the foot of the ladder
● 1951 – Tristan Tzara: Parler.
● 1954 – Joan Miró: Une Hirondelle, text and drawings by Miró
● 1957 – René Crevel: Bague d’Aurore, five etchings
● 1958 – Paul Éluard: A toute épreuve, 80 woodcuts
● 1959 – René Char: Nous avons, five etchings
● 1961 – Raymond Queneau: Album 19, 19 lithographs
● 1966 – Alfred Jarry: Ubu Roi, 13 lithographs
● 1967 – Yvan Goll: Bouquets de rêves pour Neila, 19 lithographs
● 1971 – Joan Miró: Ubu aux les baléares, and Le lezard aux plumes d’Or, text and drawings
● 1972 – Joan Brossa: Ode to Joan Miró, eight lithographs
● 1975 – Jacques Prévert: Adonis, 63 engravings
● 1978 – Joan Brossa: The three Joans, covers, contracovers and a lithograph
Once in 1941, the New York MoMA organized Miró a major international retrospective, his work has became the subject of numerous retrospectives: at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris (1962 and 1978), at the Tate Gallery in London (1964), at the Grand Palais in Paris (1974), at the Tate Modern in London (2011), and at the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona (2011), among many others.
● 1918 – Joan Miró, Dalmau Galleries, Barcelona, it was his first exhibition
● 1921 – Joan Miró, Galerie La Licorne, Paris
● 1936 – London International Surrealist Exhibition, New Burlington Galleries, London
● 1938 – Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme, Galerie Beaux-Arts, Paris
● 1940 – Joan Miró. Early Paintings 1918 to 1927, Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York
● 1941/42 – Joan Miró, Museum of Modern Art, New York (retrospective)
● 1948 – Miró Mural, Museum of Modern Art, New York
● 1948 – Picasso Gris Miró, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
● 1954 – Venice Biennale, Venice
● 1955 – Documenta I, Kassel
● 1959 – Documenta II, Kassel
● 1959 – Joan Miró, Museum of Modern Art, New York
● 1960 – Joan Miró Lithographien, Galerie Schmela, Düsseldorf
● 1962 – Joan Miró, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris
● 1964 – Documenta III, Kassel
● 1966 – Exhibitions in Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan.
● 1968 – Santa Creu Hospital, Barcelona
● 1969 – Miró otro, Barcelona
● 1970 – Miró Prints, Museum of Modern Art, New York
● 1972 – Miró – Magnetic Fields, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
● 1974 – Joan Miró, Grand Palais, Paris
● 1974 – Picasso to Lichtenstein, Tate Gallery, London
● 1977 – Documenta 6, Kassel
● 1983 – Joan Miró: A Ninetieth-Birthday Tribute, Museum of Modern Art, New York, & Joan Miró: anys 20. Mutació de la realitat, Joan Miró Foundation, Barcelona
● 1990 – Joan Miró Retrospective, Fondation Maeght, Sant Pau de Vença (retrospective)
● 1996/97 – Joan Miró – Zeichnungen und Skulpturen, 1945–1983, Werke aus der Miró Foundation, Barcelona, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg
● 2001 – Miró – Später Rebell, Kunstforum Wien, Vienna
● 2004 – Joan Miró. La naissance du monde, Center Georges Pompidou, Paris
● 2008 – Miró – La Terra, Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara
● 2008/09 – Joan Miró: Painting and Anti-Painting 1927-1937, Museum of Modern Art, New York
● 2009 – Miró – Dupin. Art and poetry, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona
● 2010 – Joan Miró – Die Farbe seiner Träume, Kunstmuseum Pablo Picasso Münster, Münster
● 2010 – Miró – Die Farben der Poesie, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden
● 2011 – Joan Miró. The Scale of Evasion, Tate Modern, Joan Miró Foundation and National Gallery of Art
● 2012 – Exquisite Corpses. Drawing and Disfiguration, Museum of Modern Art, New York
● 2013/14 – Surrealism and the object, Center Georges Pompidou, Paris
Awards and recognitions
● 1954 – Grand Prix at the Venice Biennale
● 1959 – Grand Prize of the Guggenheim Foundation
● 1962 – Knight of the Legion of Honor in France
● 1966 – Carnegie Painting Award from the Carnegie Museum of Art
● 1968 – Honorary Doctorate from Harvard University
● 1969 – Fill adoptiu of Palma
● 1978 – Gold Medal of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Miró was the first Catalan to receive this distinction
● 1978 – Gold Medal of the Balearic Islands
● 1978 – Great Cross of the Order of Isabel the Catholic
● 1979 – Doctor honoris causa by the University of Barcelona
● 1980 – Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts of the Ministry of Culture of Spain
● 1982 – Gold Medal of European Merit
● 1983 – Doctor honoris causa from the University of Murcia
● 2006 – Fill adoptiu of Mallorca
Joan Miró Foundation
The Joan Miró Foundation is located in the city of Barcelona and holds some of the most representative works of this Catalan painter. It houses more than 104,000 pieces: paintings, sculptures and tapestries. Moreover the Foundation holds almost all of the sketches by Joan Miró, with more than 8,000 references, a basic material for understanding Miró’s work.
The Joan Miró Foundation was the first artistic institution in Barcelona to be conceived through the joint work of an artist and an architect, Joan Miró and Josep Lluís Sert. For many years, it was a paradigm of modernity and artistic independence. It opened to the public on June 10, 1975. The Foundation is currently run by Rosa Maria Malet, and Jaume Freixa is its trustee.
Its origins date back to 1968, to the first large retrospective exhibition of Joan Miró in Barcelona, held at the old Hospital de la Santa Creu, when several personalities from the world of art and culture realized the historical opportunity to have, in Barcelona, a reference space for Miró’s work.
Following the artist’s will, the new institution was to become the learning and dissemination centre of the latest art.
At a time when the artistic and cultural landscape was rather small, the Joan Miró Foundation brought vitality with a new concept of what should be a more dynamic museum, in which the creation of Miró coexisted with other more diverse artistic manifestations. This fact is reflected in the CEAC (Center for Contemporary Art Studies) opening statement, above the center’s door. In 1988, the building got an extension to expand the exhibition space.
Foundation of Pilar and Joan Miró
The Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation was established in 1981 in Mallorca. It has 3 venues: Son Boter, a Mallorcan house from the late 18th century that the artist used as his second studio for painting and sculpture; the Taller Sert, a studio designed by his friend and architect Josep Lluís Sert, built in 1956; and the Moneo building, the headquarters of the Foundation, designed by Rafael Moneo and opened in 1992. The first two buildings have been declared Assets of Cultural Interest (BIC). A total of 2,500 works by the artist are on display by the foundation. Its main objective is to stimulate new generations of artists and to support research on Miró’s work. It continually offers training programs and courses in the field of graphic arts such as, engraving, lithography, silkscreen printing, photography and others. The old house of Miró, Son Abrines, is currently privately owned and not open to the public.
Since 2004, the Center Miró, located in the Old Church of Mont-roig del Camp, has shown copies of some of the most representative works of the artist. As an anecdote, the building appears in the artist’s painting Town and Church of Mont-roig (1919). The center holds fact sheets with the places in the area that inspired Miró in his early paintings. It also preserves reproductions of the “ninots de Miró” poppets. These reproductions were made based on the designs that Miró’s prepared together with Joan Baixas, for the play Mori el Merma staged at the Teatre del Liceu in 1979. There are six of them: the rooster, the owl, the puppet, the mosquito, the ant and the pumpkin.
Chronological list of the workshops that Joan Miró worked at throughout his career, except the workshop of Artigas de Gallifa:
● 1914 – 1916 – Barcelona: Arc de Jonqueres Street; Shared with Ricart
● 1916 – 1918 – Barcelona: Sant Pere més Baix, 51; Shared with Ricart
● 1916 – 1983 – Mont-roig del Camp: Mas Miró
● 1921 – 1926 – Paris: Rue Blomet, 45; Shared with Pablo Gargallo
● 1927 – 1929 – Paris: Rue Tourlaque
● 1930 – 1936 – Barcelona: Passatge del Crèdit, 4
● 1937 – 1939 – Paris: Mezzanine of the Galerie Pierre
● 1939 – 1940 – Varengeville-sur-Mer (Normandy)
● 1942 – 1942 – Palma: Calle Minyones, 11
● 1942 – 1942 – Palma: Can Sí (Casa vora del Mar)
● 1947 – 1947 – Cincinnati: Atelier 17 (Hayter’s Workshop)
● 1956 – 1983 – Palma: Son Abrines
● 1959 – 1983 – Palma: Son Boter
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Escudero, Carmen; Montaner, Teresa. Joan Miró 1893-1993: Catàleg. Fundació Joan Miró – Leonardo Arte, 1993.
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