GREAT ART OF THE WORLD:

JOAN MIRO

 

Dear Friends,
 
We arrive today at the end of this Introduction to my forum on the great art of the world. I must apologize for making it so brief - only seven posts for what should be a wide panorama - that many great paintings and sculptures probably more representatives have had to be left out. On the other hand, we cannot compete with books, where more extensive studies can be presented; and had I made it more comprehensive - hence more lengthy -, some visitors might have become bored even before the introductory part had ended.

In this last part of the Introduction we present
Awakening in the Early Morning, fifteenth in a series of twenty-three gouache paintings known as Constellations by Joan Miró, the Spanish surrealist painter and sculptor (1893-1983). For these small works, Miró extended the playfully fantastical style that he had invented in the 1920s in response to the art of children, comic strips, and the madcap mosaics of Art Nouveau master Antonio Gaudí (1852-1926), whose works before World War I had transformed Miró's native Barcelona into one of the epicenters of modern design. Teeming with weird, doodled creatures afloat in fluid fields of color, the small Constellations evolved, surprisingly, from Miró's aspirations in the late 1930s to work on mural scale.

We always appreciate and welcome your good feedback.
 
Thank you,
 
Luis Miguel Goitizolo


GREAT MASTERS OF PAINTING


Constellation: Awakening in the Early Morning (1)
by
Joan Miró
(Gouache and oil wash on paper, 1941)

born April 20, 1893, Barcelona, Spain
died Dec. 25, 1983, Palma, Majorca, Spain


Profile
(2)

Catalan painter who combined abstract art with Surrealist fantasy. His mature style evolved from the tension between his fanciful, poetic impulse and his vision of the harshness of modern life. He worked extensively in lithography and produced numerous murals, tapestries, and sculptures for public spaces.

Miró was born April 20, 1893, in Barcelona and studied at the Barcelona School of Fine Arts and the Academia Galí. His work before 1920 shows wide-ranging influences. He moved to Paris in 1920, where, under the influence of surrealist poets and writers, he evolved his mature style. Miró drew on memory, fantasy, and the irrational to create works of art that are visual analogues of surrealist poetry. These dreamlike visions, such as Harlequin's Carnival (1925, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo) or Dutch Interior (1928, Museum of Modern Art, New York City), often have a whimsical or humorous quality, containing images of playfully distorted animal forms, twisted organic shapes, and odd geometric constructions. The forms of his paintings are organized against flat neutral backgrounds and are painted in a limited range of bright colors, especially blue, red, yellow, green, and black. Amorphous amoebic shapes alternate with sharply drawn lines, spots, and curlicues, all positioned on the canvas with seeming nonchalance. Miró later produced highly generalized, ethereal works in which his organic forms and figures are reduced to abstract spots, lines, and bursts of colors.

Miró also experimented in a wide array of other media, devoting himself to etchings and lithographs for several years in the 1950s and also working in watercolor, pastel, collage, and paint on copper and masonite. His ceramic sculptures are especially notable, in particular his two large ceramic murals for the UNESCO building in Paris (Wall of the Moon and Wall of the Sun, 1957-59).


Technical data
(3)

Constellation: Awakening in the Early Morning
1941
fifteenth in a series of twenty-three small paintings known as Constellations.

Gouache and oil wash on paper,

18-1/8 x 15 in. (46.0 x 38.0 cm)
Kimbell Art Museum

Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Acquired in 1993

 

(1) This image is a courtesy of Olga's Gallery.

(2) Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, CGFA.

(3) Source: Olga's Gallery.

 


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