Poetry is the model from which Joan Miró's (Barcelona, 1893 - Mallorca, 1983) unique artistic language stems, particularly from his connection to the poets and artists from the sphere of the Surrealist movement - André Masson and Michel Leiris, or those they admired such as Conde de Lautréamont (Isidore Lucien Ducasse), Arthur Rimbaud, Stéphane Mallarmé and Guillaume Apollinaire. Visual poetry and the freedom of the use and arrangement of words in verses enable him to “deconstruct” the artistic language. On the hundredth anniversary of Miró's birth, this exhibition endeavours to look back at the origin and evolution of his unique artistic syntax, revolving around the series Constelaciones (1940-1941); the exhibition's curator, Margit Rowell, defines the near one-hundred-work exhibition as the, “genesis and evolution of the constellated syntax.”
The new course that Miró's paintings take is symbolised in his work from 1923-1925: Paisaje catalán (El cazador), Pastoral, Carnaval del Arlequín, executed in close proximity to André Breton and Surrealism. As the artist himself acknowledges in 1962: “Signs of imaginary writing appear in my work. I painted without premeditation, as if I were under the influence of a dream, and combined reality and mystery in one liberated space.” This pictorial practice, transmitting motifs of nature without ever attempting to represent it, endures until his later works, such as the series Azul I, Azul II and Azul III (1961), Canción de las vocales (1966) and Gota de agua sobre la nieve rosa (1968), which display an increasingly abstract language. Around this time Miró reaches the absolute union between poetry and nature, where the latter is portrayed in universal expression that goes beyond all references to the semblances of the real world.
Yet the Constelaciones series is at the heart of the exhibition, starting from Varengeville, a town in the north of France, and ending in Mallorca. Rowell points out that: “Through the dissociation and disorientation of motifs and the suspension over a blank background that contains no points of reference, there is an apparent absolute freedom expressed that is, however, governed by the laws of artistic consciousness. This freedom is linked to a profound vision of the phenomenical and imaginary world.” In this series the pictorial language becomes the theme of the compositions as the titles allude to the night, the stars and birds, recurring elements in his work that create a new poetic vocabulary to refer to an alien experience of reality.
Fundació Miró, Barcelona; Museum of Modern Art MoMA, New York
Collection artworks included in the exhibition
Reina Sofia Museum's Publications