From April 14th to September 11th 2011, the Tate Modern will welcome the first major exhibition of Juan Miró for almost 50 years. With more than 150 paintings, drawings and sculptures this event is a wonderful opportunity to discover and examine the political engagement, Catalan influence and personal vision of one of the 20th century’s greatest artists. This exhibition will cover the whole career of this talented artist, including the difficult and dark period of Europe under Franco’s regime and the Civil War in Spain and the II World War in France. You will also be able to see the Hope of Condemned Man triptych 1973 and several works of the late 1960s.
Born on April 20th 1893 in Barcelona, Juan Miró was a Catalan painter, sculptor and ceramicist categorised as a Surrealist artist. He studied in the “Escuela de Bellas Artes de la Llotja” and Escuela de Arte de Francesco Galí. He went to Paris in 1919, and became influenced by the Dada and Surrealism styles before becoming a member of Andre Breton’s group (the founder of Surrealism). Even though he was part of this group he didn’t want to be identified as an official Surrealist member and wanted to be free to experiment with other artistic styles. In 1924, he developed his unique style: a geography of coloured signs and poetic forms with a Catalan spirit and a freshness of invention.
Originally, Miró was part of the Generation’27, a collective of Spanish artists, writers, poets and film makers. Luis Bunuel, Miguel Hernandez, Jose Maria Hinijosa and Garcia Lorca were members of this collective but they were all murdered by Franco during the Fascist regime. Only Luis Bunuel and Miró along with a few other artists could flee to France or the US.
Miró didn’t want to follow established techniques used in painting and was the first artist to develop an automatic drawing. This is the reason why he launched Surrealism as an official art movement with Andre Masson.
Juan Miró lived in France with his family during the Spanish Civil War but came back to Spain when Germany invaded France in 1940. Then, he settled in Majorca and remained there for the rest of his life. He married Pilar Juncosa in Palma on October 12th, 1929 and had a daughter named Dolores on July 17th, 1931.
In the final decades of his life, Miró accelerated and created many works such as: a tapestry for the World Trade Centre in New York City and the Wall of the moon and the Wall of the Sun for the UNESCO building in Paris.
From March 16th, 2011 to July 31th, 2011 the Maillol Museum in Paris is showing 101 sculptures, 22 ceramics and 19 works on paper. Most of them come from the collection of the Fondation Marguerite et Aimé Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France. Juan Miró participated in the creation of this foundation in 1964 and found it the ideal place to create monumental works. Thanks to this foundation his sculptures became linked to both architecture and nature that’s why he created an amazing garden of sculptures and ceramics, specifically for the Fondation Maeght.
So after visiting the wonderful exhibition at the Tate Modern, why not plan a holiday or your viewing trip to France in order to visit the country where Juan Miró lived for several years and discover his works in the UNESCO building and the Maillol Museum in Paris…