Joan Miro


Artist Biography:

Joan Miró Ferrà was born on the 20th April 1893. He was best described as a Spanish surrealist and was born in the seaport city of Barcelona into the family of a goldsmith and watchmaker. He was exposed to the arts from a very young age. There have been some drawings recovered by Miró dating to 1901, when he was only 8 years old whose abstract works, with their subject matter drawn from the realm of memory and imaginative fantasy, are some of the most original of the 20th Century. His works before 1920 (the date of his first trip to Paris) reflect the influence of different trends, like the pure and brilliant colours used in Fauvism, shapes taken from cubism, influences from folkloric Catalan art and Roman frescos from the churches. His trip to Paris 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 Paris, although Miró was always to maintain his independent qualities with respect to groups and ideologies. While the culture and language of Miró's native Catalonia were under threat on more than one occasion, Miró often responded with daring and radical abstract paintings to express a very personal view of what was going on around him. One of his most famous themes was flight from troubled circumstances. Miró championed the Republic against the fascist leader Franco in the Civil War and in 1937 created a 6½ metre high painting "The Reaper" now lost, which was exhibited that year alongside Picasso's "Guernica" at the World Fair in Paris. After the war, Miró lived in effective exile in Palma, Majorca and Barcelona and whilst he exhibited extensively in Paris, New York and across Europe, he remained virtually anonymous in Spain. 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 characterized 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 informalism. 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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