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[ j o a n  m i r ó  b i o g .]
miromiro miro miro

Joan Miró

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Joan Miró (1893-1983), Spanish painter, whose Surrealist works, with their subject-matter drawn from the realm of memory and imaginative fantasy, are some of the most original of the 20th century.

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, including the bright colours of the Fauves, the broken forms of Cubism, and the powerful, flat two-dimensionality of Catalan folk art and Romanesque church frescoes of his native Spain. 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), 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 colours, 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 colours.

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 watercolour, pastel, collage, and paint on copper and masonite. His ceramic sculptures are especially notable, in particular his two large ceramic murals, Wall of the Moon and Wall of the Sun (1957-1959) for the UNESCO building in Paris. Miró died in Majorca on December 25, 1983.

Biography II:

The Spanish painter, Joan Miró, who was born in Barcelona in 1893 and died in Palma de Mallorca in 1983, left behind an important legacy which is included amongst the most original of the 20th century. His work, in general, would be marked with a clear surrealist tendancy, where the realm of the memory and imaginative fantasy were to take priority.

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 París) 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 París 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 París, 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 scuptures. 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, water colors, 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 París (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 characterised 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 informelism. 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.

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.

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the man in pictures:

    joan miró



  • miro lithographs
    joan miro
    paperback book (1983)
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  • joan miro
    rosa maria malet
    hardcover book (2003)
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  • miro' deluxe 2004 engagement calendar
    joan miro
    calendar (2003)
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  • joan miro: 1893-1983 (basic art)
    janis mink
    paperback book (2000)
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  • miro
    walter erben
    hardcover book (2003)
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  • joan miro: catalogue raisonne: paintings
    jacques dupin
    hardcover book (2002)
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  • joan miro: snail woman flower star
    stephan von wiese
    hardcover book (2003)
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  • joan miro foundation guidebook
    joan miro
    hardcover book (1999)
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  • little book of miro
    constance rubini
    paperback book (2004)
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Joan Miró Archives.